Julieanna L. Richardson headshot
Julieanna L. Richardson

Julieanna L. Richardson is the founder and president of The HistoryMakers, a national non-profit educational institution that has curated, presented and preserved on video the histories of thousands of African Americans. The Chicago-based organization describes itself as “the digital repository for the Black experience” and serves as a unique resource for students and educators from kindergarten through college along with the media and other disciplines.

The project, founded in 2000, is an outgrowth of Richardson’s experience in theater, television production and the cable news industry. She is a graduate of Brandeis University where she majored in Theater Arts and American Studies, and chronicled the oral history of the Harlem Renaissance and, later, poet-writer Langston Hughes.

Richardson is also a 1980 graduate of Harvard Law School. Richardson is the 2021 recipient of the Chicago History Museum’s John Hope Franklin Making History Award, an honor recognizing Chicagoans who have improved the city and its culture.


On the anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, April 13 (known locally as Founder’s Day), the University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello join together to present the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals to recognize achievements of those who embrace endeavors in which Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence and third U.S. president, excelled and held in high regard. These medals are the highest external honors bestowed by the University of Virginia, which grants no honorary degrees. For information on Founder’s Day, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals and the 2024 recipients, click here.

Past Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Citizen Leadership Recipients »