Michael Morris will serve as the new director of the Two Mississippi Museums—the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. He steps into the role after Pamela D.C. Junior, who retired in June. The museums are administered by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) and have attracted more than 500,000 visitors since opening in downtown Jackson in December 2017.
“I am thrilled to know Michael will continue the work we have begun,” Junior said. “He is well-known and respected in both the public history community and the civil rights community.”
“Since joining MDAH, Michael has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to preserving and promoting our state's rich cultural heritage,” said Cindy Gardner, division director, MDAH Museum Division. “I have no doubt that the Two Mississippi Museums will continue to thrive under Michael’s capable leadership.”
Morris, a Jackson native, earned his bachelor’s degree in history and master’s degree in political science from Jackson State University, where he worked at the Margaret Walker Center and Fannie Lou Hamer Institute on Citizenship and Democracy. He earned his supervisory management certificate from the Mississippi State Personnel Board and is currently completing its Certified Public Manager Program. Morris also completed the Stennis Institute’s State Executive Development Institute program at Mississippi State University.
He began his career at MDAH in the public relations office in 2016, and most recently served as director of public engagement. He was responsible for co-leading the MDAH strategic planning process, coordinating community meetings, leading department research projects, planning major events, and supporting the department director and deputy director during legislative sessions.
Morris is active in the community. He was a member of the commission tasked with commemorating the city of Jackson’s bicentennial in 2022, has written markers for the Mississippi Freedom Trail, and has moderated panels for the Mississippi Book Festival. Morris was the Mississippi archivist for the Our Story, Our Terms civil rights project at Duke University.
“I feel incredibly honored to take on this role, following in the footsteps of Pam Junior, who did an exceptional job,” said Morris. “These museums are a tremendous asset for the state and the city of Jackson. I am excited to take on this new responsibility and look forward to building on the success there.”
The Mississippi Department of Archives and History is the second-oldest state department of archives and history in the United States. The department’s mission is to inspire the discovery of stories that connect our lives and shape our future by preserving Mississippi’s diverse historic resources and sharing them with people around the world. The department is headquartered in the William F. Winter Archives and History Building in Jackson. For more information call 601-576-6850.