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Two Mississippi Museums first-ever director announces retirement

Pam Junior
Photo courtesy of the MDAH

Pamela D.C. Junior, director of the Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson, has announced her retirement.

In 2017, Junior was named the inaugural director of the first state-sponsored civil rights museum in the nation —  the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. She came to the role after serving as director of the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center for 17 years.

In 2019, she was promoted to director of the Two Mississippi Museums, where she continued the work of sharing the stories of the state in the Museum of the Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museums.

“Pam Junior came to MDAH with deep roots and credibility in the community, many years of experience in the museum field, and a commitment to excellence that she modeled for younger staff,” MDAH director Katie Blount said. “She personally led many thousands of visitors through the museums, enriching their experience through her passion for history and her boundless charisma. In our first years, Pam Junior lifted up the Two Mississippi Museums and shared them with the world. We are grateful.”

Highlights during Junior’s service include participating in the retirement of the 1894 Mississippi state flag in 2020 and guiding the late Congressman John Lewis through the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.

Junior also spearheaded MLK Jr. Day programming with fellow museum staff and added the MLK Night of Culture in 2019, two of the most highly attended annual events at the museums.

“Pamela is a woman who knows that she did not travel her road alone, but on the shoulders of those who came before her,” civil rights leader Myrlie Evers, the widow of the late Medgar Wiley Evers, said. “Pamela is imbued with the fortitude, wisdom, and faith of her grandmother, mother, mentors, and civil rights veterans. Her leadership reflects her commitment to Mississippi and the honest telling of our history.”

Junior has been honored over the years for both her professional and community work and received numerous awards, such as the Freedom Rider Award from the Mississippi Freedom 50th Foundation, the For My People Award from the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University, the Hometown Hero Award from the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Museum Leadership Award by the Association of African American Museums. She was inducted into the Mississippi Tourism Hall of Fame.

Junior will continue to serve the community as a board member for Visit Jackson and an advisory board member for the Mississippi Book Festival. She is also a member of the International Women’s Forum.

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