MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - After serving six years as president and CEO of the National Civil Rights Museum, Terri Freeman announced her resignation Thursday.
“It’s a very personal decision, actually. 2020 has been one of those for the decades, for the ages maybe. For me, it has been a particularly difficult year,” Freeman said.
Freeman joined the National Civil Rights Museum in 2014. During that time, she provided strategic leadership to further the museum’s mission as an educational and cultural institution.
Freeman has done a lot of great work for the museum over the years. It’s during her time as president that the National Civil Rights Museum became a Smithsonian-affiliate.
Another highlight during her tenure– the museum’s 18-month MLK50 commemoration of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 2018, where thousands of people, including those who walked with Dr. King, honored him.
She also created “Unpacking Racism for Action,” a seven-month-long dialogue program to go deep into issues of implicit bias and structural racism.
“We are in the fourth year of that program. What we’ve been able to accomplish with individuals in through program for some has really been life-changing. I just think it is good work. It is the type of work the museum should be doing,” Freeman said.
Freeman may be moving on from Memphis, but she will still be doing similar work with a similar mission.
Freeman was named 2020 Memphian of the Year by Memphis Magazine, something she says is an honor as she leaves the Bluff City.
“It is truly an honor to feel that people think our work and my contribution was significant enough, in a year like this, to name me Memphian of the year. I do not take it lightly,” Freeman said.
Freeman’s last day is Feb. 3. The museum’s board chairman said the search for her successor will begin immediately.