She participated as a panelist during a session about “Connecting Global Communities: Striking Successes, Fabulous Flops and Lessons Learned.”
Anderson described the “striking success” of an international exchange program she coordinated between the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa. She administered the $123,000 grant from the American Association of Museums that allowed 20 high school students (10 from each community) to study human rights movements and visit each other’s hometown and countries. Anderson also served as a member of the review committee for the AAM International Fellowship Program that supported conference participation by museum professionals from outside the United States.
The Oral History Association invited her to serve on a three-person national committee to select grant recipients from the organization’s Emerging Crisis Research Fund, designed to fund oral history projects that document emerging crises in different parts of the world. Anderson was a member of the Alabama Humanities Foundation major grants review committee and has been a popular presenter for the organization’s statewide speaker’s bureau for several years.
At the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists in Chicago, Anderson presented a paper titled “Archiving the Civil Rights Movement: North and South, Past and Future.” Her work as administrator in developing the BCRI international oral history project was the topic of her roundtable presentation at the Alabama Libraries Association Annual Meeting.
Anderson is on the planning committee for the national conference of the American Association for State and Local History, which will meet in Birmingham in 2013.
“Laura brings enthusiasm and professional integrity to her work,” said Priscilla Hancock Cooper, vice president of Institutional Programs at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. “She is an asset not only to BCRI but to the work of museums, archives and historians across the country. It is no wonder that national organizations seek her involvement and advice.”
Anderson lives in Birmingham with her husband, Will, and four-year old son, Walter.