Alison Rose Jefferson

Alison Rose Jefferson, M.H.C., Ph.D. is a historian and heritage conservation consultant and a third generation Californian. She reconstructs the stories of the African American experience which have been left out or marginalized in the telling of American history as a tool in the struggle for social justice. She is currently working on Applied History projects dealing with the African American experience during the Jim Crow era. Working with Santa Monica’s Belmar History + Art project and the Central Avenue heritage trail with Angels Walk L.A, Jefferson is drawing on her research to guide and enrich these public programs at these Southern California locales that feature historical significance as well as contemporary consequence. Both projects are arriving for public to experience in early 2021.

In 2021, Dr. Jefferson is Scholar in Residence with the Institute for the Study of Los Angeles at Occidental Colleges. In virtual campus and public programs she will share her work to re-center the African American experience in local history and heritage conservation efforts.

Her recent book, Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era (University of Nebraska Press) was honored with the 2020 Miriam Matthews Ethnic History Award by the Los Angeles City Historical Society for its exceptional contributions to the greater understanding and awareness of Los Angeles history. For leading the Bay Street Beach Historic District listing on the National Register of Historic Places, Dr. Jefferson and Michael Blum of Sea of Clouds were honored with the 2020 Cultural Landscape Award from the Santa Monica Conservancy. She was also honored with the rare and prestigious James G. Cameron Award in 2017 for her many significant contributions to the understanding of the African American experience in the history of Santa Monica and the Southern California region.

She has participated in documentary films, monument creation, museum exhibitions, and other programming which engage the public with history. Her work has been noted in KCET-LA programming,, Los Angeles Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, CBS LA, NBC LA, KTLA and ABC LA news TV programs, among other media outlets. Learn more about Jefferson’s work at: