Lucy J. Allen, who served the Mississippi Department of Archives & History Two Mississippi Museums as project director for construction of the museums in downtown Jackson, will present the 2018 Rabbi Perry Nussbaum Lecture on April 13 at 1 p.m. at Millsaps College.
Pamela Junior, director of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, and Rachel Myers, director of the Museum of Mississippi History, will join Allen in presenting “From Vision to Decision: A Truth Telling Journey of Two Mississippi Museums.”
The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Room 215 of the Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex.
Allen, a 2018 Nussbaum Laureate, has served as assistant curator of exhibits, director of education and programs, and museum division director at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. She has designed and fabricated temporary, permanent, and traveling exhibits and created in-house and outreach programs, festivals, workshops, and events for teachers, students and the public.
She administers museum sites including the Old Capitol, the Eudora Welty House, the Manship House Museum, and the historic section of the Governor’s Mansion, all in Jackson. She also administers the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians and Historic Jefferson College in Natchez and Winterville Mounds in Greenville. She added the Mississippi History Museum and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum to the list when it opened in December 2017.
From the beginning, Allen understood that the ability to tell a complete and honest story of Mississippi history and the two museums’ success would require forming relationships of trust with key stakeholders. Long before plans for the two museums launched, Allen made it her job to build those relationships. She created a museum Community Advisory Committee comprised of more than 20 cultural groups. She visited with people whose stories would be told, seeking their input as participants in the process rather than treating them as historical subjects to study.
Since opening in December, the Two Mississippi Museums have been recognized throughout the country for their excellent quality and their refusal to “sugarcoat history.” The Civil Rights Museum has been called a “Museum of Conscience.”
Allen’s far-sighted vision and dedicated commitment to inclusiveness has provided citizens with two museums that advance dialogue, understanding, and civic engagement – and serve as inspiration for change toward a more just and equitable Mississippi.
The annual Rabbi Perry Nussbaum awards and lecture series honors Nussbaum and other individuals, many of whom have gone unrecognized, for their selfless contributions to the civil rights movement in Mississippi and beyond. The series was expanded to honor contemporary work around civil and social justice issues.
Dr. John D. Bower, a renal pioneer, endowed the series in 2008 in honor of Nussbaum, rabbi at Beth Israel Congregation in Jackson from 1954 until 1974.