Professor Henry Louis (Skip) Gates Jr. has joined the board of directors of the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival (MVFF), the organization announced this week.

Human rights activist Nancy Parrish, environmental activist Laurie David and child welfare advocate Mahsa Noble have also joined the advisory board.

The new members join Thomas Bena, Steve Bernier, Joanna Cole, Anne Evasick, Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte, Dawn Porter and Mitch Rubin on the board of the festival now entering its 16th year. Currently, staff members are teaching an investigative documentary course at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and gearing up for the annual film festival to be held on March 17 to 20, 2016.