Lynnette Young Overby

National Council on the Humanities

Lynnette Young Overby, PhD

Term Dates



Lynnette Young Overby, PhD, is a Professor of Theatre and Dance at the University of Delaware, Director of the Community Engagement Initiative, Founding Director of the Partnership for Arts & Culture, and Artistic Director of the Sharing Our Legacy Dance Theatre.

Overby works at the University of Delaware and with several local, national, and international organizations developing community engagement programs and projects designed to address racial justice issues. For example, as Scholarship Chair of the Engaged Scholarship Consortium, and as Director of the Partnership for Arts & Culture, Overby has administered social justice grant programs for faculty and community partners. Over the years, thousands of community partners have benefited from the work of these projects.

She is the author or coauthor of over 60 publications, including 14 edited, coauthored and authored books. Her contributions have earned her more than 20 state, district, and national awards and honors, including the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award for the National Dance Education Organization. Overby has served as an officer or board member in several national and international organizations, including The National Dance Association and Dance and the Child International. She is currently collaborating with literary historian P. Gabrielle Foreman on “Performing History” research. Her Sharing our Legacy Dance Theatre productions, including Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Her Life and Legacy have taken place in Delaware, Texas, Alabama, Virginia, Washington, DC, Australia, South Africa, and Belize. Through arts and community engagement collaborations, Overby has facilitated projects focused on increasing empathy and knowledge in communities.