Champion of the Arts: Terri Lee Freeman and the National Civil Rights Museum

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I am honored and excited to introduce you to another Champion of the Arts, Terri Lee Freeman, who is building bridges between history and the present through her work as president of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN. Since 2014, Ms. Freeman has been responsible for providing strategic leadership to further the museum’s mission as an educational and cultural institution. Over the last five years, she has positioned the museum as the new “public square” for dialogue about and around civil and human rights and as a safe space for people to exchange ideas and learn. The museum offers permanent historical exhibitions; lectures and talks by well-known thought leaders, such as historian and author Ibram X. Kendi, Ph.D., as well as art exhibitions, such as the work of Romare Bearden.

Recently, Ms. Freeman was interviewed for the podcast, CI to Eye by Erik Gensler, founder and president of the digital marketing firm, Capacity Interactive. They discussed the museum’s history; its efforts to carry on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other civil rights leaders, and the museum’s efforts to help people understand today’s events through the lens of history. You will find the podcast at this link.

History, culture, as well as the arts, are deeply intertwined roots of American life. When we become adept at examining and understanding the past, as Ms. Freeman shared during the interview, we can shape a more positive and equitable future. I encourage you to not only check out the museum’s website, but also to make plans to visit and support. The National Civil Rights museum is truly one of our nation’s premiere cultural institutions holding up the mirror for us to both see and reflect upon where we’ve been and who we have the potential to become.

I urge you to make the time to listen to this podcast, where Ms. Freeman also introduces us to the concept of becoming “apologetically human.” (Check out her TedX presentation on this subject.) I look forward to your comments below, or send me an email:

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