Christopher Mulé currently serves as the director of folk arts at Brooklyn Arts Council and as the director of the NYSCA New York State Digitization and Folk Arts Website initiative at City Lore. He specializes in grant writing, cultural documentation, public programming, and non-profit management. He earned his MA in Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University, and serves on the board of directors for the Ghanaian Association of Staten Island, the Liberian service organization Napela, and the New York Folklore Society. In 2015, he received the Archie Green Fellowship from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for his collaboration with Domestic Workers United, an organization of Caribbean, Latina and African nannies, housekeepers, and elderly caregivers in New York, that organizes for fair labor standards.
The American Folklore Society must diversify our leadership and membership. As a member of the executive board, I will advocate that we enhance recruitment, development, and retention of members and leaders with diverse experiences and perspectives. We need to look inward and create a culture of inclusion throughout the society. We must create space for communication and interaction for diverse perspectives,motivations, and backgrounds. How can we make AFS matter to culture-bearers and communities who serves as our teachers and partners in the field? How can we make AFS a sounding board for scholars and professionals, both domestically and internationally, who want to leverage the perspectives and strategies of our discipline to respond to current ethical, social, cultural, and political issues? These are just some of the questions that I will bring to the table. Finally, we need to strengthen our international relationships between folklorists and folklore organizations. These are all very big challenges, but by taking them on, we are seizing an opportunity to diversify the knowledge base of our society and enhance our creativity and innovation.