Activities (selective)

Historian Alison Rose Jefferson at the Speakeasy Celebration in honor of the new season of the KCET Emmy® Award-winning historical series LOST LA at The Edison in Downtown Los Angeles, October 22, 2019. Check out the 2019 and 2017 LOST LA and BLUE SKY METROPOLIS shows where she is a featured historian. Photography by KCET photographer.

  • 2021–2022 Scholar in Residence
    With the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles, California, she will focus her research on the documentation of the historical African American experience in the California coastal zone district of Los Angeles’ Venice area. She will also examine public policies which might help to preserve this community. Start date, late Spetember 2021.
  • Member of Black History and Culture Advisory Council, TPL
    Members of this new Advisory Council will help The Trust for Public Land tell the complete American story by re-centering African American voices in the narrative at sites and public spaces in several communities. Winter 2021–present.
  • 2021 Scholar In Residence
    With the Institute for the Study of Los Angeles at Occidental College, she will in virtual campus and public programs share her work to re-center the African American experience in local history and heritage conservation efforts. January–August 2021.
  • Historian and Heritage Conservation Consultant
    Consultant public historian to the City of Santa Monica on the Belmar History + Art project which will illuminate the historical and cultural significance of the Civic Center area in relation to the African American community that was displaced by a municipal building, other waves of related urban renewal projects and housing discrimination from the late 1930s to 1950s. A series of informational signage, public artwork, and an educational program will be developed that commemorates, recognizes, and illuminates the history of the area and the rich legacy of African American contributions to Santa Monica life from the 1900s to the 1950s. July 2019–present.
  • Historian
    Featured in the KCET television shows: 2019 LOST LA episode one (“Griffith Park: The Untold History”), debuted October 15, 2019, and the 2018 Emmy Award winning, LOST LA episode five (“Coded Geographies”) about “The Green Book, The Negro Motorist Travel Guide, debuted November 17, 2017.
  • Historian
    Featured in BLUE SKY METROPOLIS documentary television series. KCET. Four-part series debuted Sundays, July and August 2019.
  • Historian and Heritage Conservation Consultant
    Consultant (with writer Martha Groves) on Angels Walk LA self-guided walking and public transportation trail that commemorates the history, architecture and culture of the old Central Avenue hub of African American life in Los Angeles during the Jim Crow era. The Angels Walks are designed to encourage pedestrians to discover and explore Los Angeles by connecting directly with major transit and rail lines. Installation and dedication in late 2018. Los Angeles, CA. 2017–2021.
  • Historian
    Short videotaped interview on the history of Bruce’s Beach, an early twentieth century African American resort community in the City of Manhattan Beach for the Vistamar School’s “Soulful Celebration” program (March 16, 2017). Interviewers: then senior high students Jaxon and Jason Bellamy-Williams. The young men’s teacher, Dr. Demian Pritchard, was the producer and school volunteer Valerie Lodeum (a parent of another of student) was thesupervising camera operator of the interview, which took place March 1, 2017. Additional editing was done by Kahlil gibran Stokes of the Sixth Sense Foundation. Vistamar School, El Segundo, CA. Spring 2017.
  • Historian and Heritage Conservation Consultant
    Subconsultant with Galvin Preservation Associates Consulting team to research, write and do public engagement outreach for the African American History Context Statement for the SurveyLA (Historic Resources Survey Report). My biggest part on this project was to research and write the African American experience history, Los Angeles context and a timeline of historically significant events from 1800s–1980. Los Angeles, CA. Report publication date 2018.
  • Historian
    Created an afternoon guided driving tour of sites to showcase facets of Los Angeles’ Afro-Spanish/-Mexican and African American heritage from the nineteenth to the later decades of the twentieth centuries. Social media influencers of different age groups were the invited participants on the “Steeped in History” tour to drive Toyota vehicles in a caravan, to experience the streets, sites and history of the city. Winter 2017.
  • Co-Lead Coordinator, California Coastal Cleanup Day 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 at the historical African American beach site at Bay Street in Santa Monica, California
    Heal the Bay, the Santa Monica Conservancy, the California Historical Society, Black Surfers Collective and others partner. Coordinated site exhibits with organizations. Co-coordinated community outreach, education and remembrances of site history and ocean stewardship programming. Designed banner exhibit for display entitled, “Hidden Beach Stories & the California Dream: African Americans, Beach Culture, Santa Monica & the American Narrative.” Event days, third Saturday in September each year.
  • Grant Recipient, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center (IHC), University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)
    Co-Sponsorship of Campus Events Grant Funding to support Dr. Ned Kaufman lecturing programming at UCSB and The Presidio Chapel at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, March 13, 2014. E. Bruce Roberson, faculty collaborator.
  • Grant Recipient, Graduate Division Alumni- and Professional-Related Career Events Grant, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)
    To support Dr. Ned Kaufman lecturing programming at UCSB and The Presidio Chapel at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, March 13, 2014. E. Bruce Roberson, lead faculty collaborator.
  • Coordinator of Dr. Ned Kaufman Lecture Tour Programming
    University of Southern California (USC), March 10, 2014, William Deverell (History Dept. Chair) and Trudi Sandmeier (Heritage Conservation Program Director), faculty coordinators – The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, March 11, 2014, William Estrada (History Dept. Director), staff coordinator – University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and The Presidio Chapel at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP), March 13, 2014, E. Bruce Roberson (UCSB Art & Design Museum Dir.), faculty collaborator and Anne Peterson (SBTHP Ass. Dir.), staff coordinator.
  • Co-Lead Coordinator, Nick Gabaldón Day 2013
    Black Surfers Collective, Heal the Bay and Supv. Mark Ridley-Thomas (LA County Brd. of Supervisors, 2nd District), the Santa Monica Conservancy and the California Historical Society partnership program featuring education in surfing, local history, ocean stewardship and marine biology at the historical African American beach site in Santa Monica, CA. Event Day, June 1, 2013.
  • Contributor to
    Wrote African American history encyclopedia entries for “The Inkwell, Santa Monica, California (1905–1964),” “Nick Gabaldon (1927–1951)” with Rick Blocker, and “The Inkwell, Martha’s Vineyard (1890s –  ).” is a reference center web portal dedicated to providing information to the general public on the history of African Americans and their ancestry around the world.
  • Featured Historian in 12 Miles North: The Nick Gabaldón Story 
    This documentary by filmmaker Richard Yelland and Nike tells the inspiring and tragic story of Nick Gabaldón (1927–1951), the first documented surfer of African American and Mexican American descent. Limited released February 2012. Gabaldón grew up in Santa Monica, where he learned to swim and surf on the waves at the segregated beach sometimes known as the “Inkwell” and in Malibu. Even though he was a recreational waterman rather than a professional competitive surfer, his legacy has inspired many surfers of color and otherwise to consider him as a role model. A pioneering black Californian and American, Nick Gabaldón died in the bloom of his manhood in a watery death. His passion, athleticism, discipline, love and respect for the ocean live on as the quintessential qualities of the California surfer.
  • Historian/Project Manager, Historic Resources Group, Pasadena, California
    Executed literature and on-site research, documentation, evaluation of historic resource sites, and oral history project development. Wrote historic structures reports, cultural resource sections of environmental impact reports and National Register and other level of landmark nominations. Clients and projects include the Beverly Hills Cultural Center, the Southwest Museum, the Community Enhancement Corporation community center in the original Angelus Funeral Home, Second Baptist Church, UCLA Center for Oral History and the City of Santa Monica. Context work included sections of Los Angeles and the Southern California region. Existing and new client relations contact to manager projects and to develop new business relationships. 2006–2009.
  • Interviewer for Santa Monica Beach Stories, City of Santa Monica, 2009
    Oral Histories with long-time Bay Cities resident Navalette Tabor Bailey and former Mayor Nat Trives.
  • Created Text for Plaque, “The Inkwell: A Place of Celebration and Pain,” 2007–2008
    Marker in the City of Santa Monica located along the bicycle and pedestrian path (Ocean Front Walk) at the end of Bay Street. The monument commemorates the Jim Crow era beach site (which was an African American gathering spot) and surfer Nick Gabaldon.

Public and Conference Presentations (selective)

Public Presentations

To learn about selective Public Presentations of Dr. Jefferson, see the Events page.

Read more about past Public Presentations here.

Image from the Nick Gabaldón Day Weekend Activities discussion panel Alison took part in as coordinator and moderator.

Conference Presentations

Read more about past Conference Presentations here.

For information on recent Conference Presentations, please contact Dr. Jefferson.



  • 2021 Cultural Resource Award recipient with Belmar History + Art team members for work to produce project (history and art exhibition and other features) which commemorates the contributions of the early African American residents to Santa Monica and recognizes their neighborhoods, Santa Monica Conservancy


  • 2020 Cultural Landscape Award recipient with Michael Blum of Sea of Clouds for the successful nomination of the Bay Street Beach Historic District to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Santa Monica Conservancy
  • 2020 Super Healer Award for helping the organization grow its perspective about its approach to nature conservation stewardship and reaching broader audience, Heal the Bay, Santa Monica, California
  • Mariam Matthews Ethnic History Award recipient for the book, Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era and for its exceptional contributions to the greater understanding and awareness of Los Angeles history, Los Angeles City Historical Society


  • Awardee, Applied History Workshop Weekend Fellowship with Patty Limerick at the Center for the American West located at University of Colorado, Boulder. Training received in tying historical understanding to contemporary issues and real-world solutions for modern problems. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • Awardee, Book Publishing Fund, Historical Society of Southern California (in conjunction with the Ahmanson Foundation)
  • Mariam Matthews Ethnic History Award recipient for the book, Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era and for its exceptional contributions to the greater understanding and awareness of Los Angeles history, Los Angeles City Historical Society


  • James G. Cameron Award recipient for significant contributions to the understanding of the African American experience in Santa Monica and Southern California regional history, Santa Monica Conservancy



  • Regent’s Dissertation Fellowship, UC Santa Barbara History Department
  • Research Travel Grant, UC Santa Barbara History Department


  • Alternate and “Honorable Mention List,” 2014 Dissertation Competition. Ford Foundation Doctoral Fellowship
  • UC California Studies Consortium Award/Graduate Student Research Travel Grant
  • Graduate Dissertation Fellowship, Santa Barbara Affiliates
  • Robert Kelley Fellowship, Santa Barbara History Associates
  • Regent’s Dissertation Fellowship, UC Santa Barbara History Department
  • Humanities and Social Science Research Grant, UC Santa Barbara
  • Academic Senate Conference Travel Grant, UC Santa Barbara
  • Conference Travel Grant, UC Santa Barbara History Department




Share this: