2024 MHC Public Humanities Awards to honor inspiring work

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JANS – The Mississippi Humanities Council announced the winners of its 2024 Public Humanities Awards, recognizing outstanding work in preserving and sharing Mississippi’s unique history and culture.  The ceremony takes place March 22, 2024, at 5:30 p.m. at the Two Mississippi Museums.

Pamela D.C. Junior will receive the Cora Norman Award, which recognizes lifetime achievement in the humanities for her long career telling Mississippi’s stories at the Smith Robertson Museum and the Two Mississippi Museums. During her tenure at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, Junior was a powerful public voice for preserving and celebrating the legacy of the Mississippi freedom movement. She also mentored a generation of young museum professionals who have moved on to impact a range of public humanities institutions around the state. Prior to coming to the Two Museums, Junior was director of the Smith Robertson Museum, where she created powerful, engaging exhibits that are among the highlights of the museum today.

Humanities Scholar Award – Dr. Christian Pinnen, Associate Professor in the Department of History and Political Science at Mississippi College. Dr. Pinnen receives this award in recognition of his work as a scholar of Mississippi’s colonial history, his involvement in the Mississippi Humanities Council speakers bureau, and his role in many council-funded public humanities projects over the years, notably programs related to Mississippi College’s newly established African American Studies program.

Humanities Educator – Dr. Tammy Greer, Director of American Indian Research Center at the University of Southern Mississippi. The Humanities Educator Award recognizes Dr. Greer for her longtime efforts to teach the larger community about the history and cultural heritage of native people. With the Medicine Wheel Garden, the Southern Miss Pow Wow, and exhibits about native history and culture, Dr. Greer has helped educate both students and the general public about our country’s vital indigenous traditions.

Humanities Partner – LaShetta Wilder, Director of Pre-release/Reentry at the Mississippi Department of Corrections. The Humanities Partner Award recognizes Wilder for her collaboration with the Council to broaden its scope and reach new audiences. Wilder is a vital ally and advocate for MHC’s prison education programs. Her belief in the power of education to transform lives resulted in the tremendous expansion of higher education in Mississippi prisons as well as the MHC’s prison book club program.

Reflecting Mississippi Award – Walter Anderson Museum of Art & Bridging Winona. The Walter Anderson Museum of Art is being honored with a Reflecting Mississippi award for its innovative public programming that uses the lens of Anderson’s work to explore the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, including its foodways, transportation, and rituals of life and death.

Bridging Winona is being recognized for its work to bring together people to honor Winona’s difficult, but important, civil rights history. This organization has shown how facing this challenging history can make a community stronger and more unified.

The Council will also recognize 30 recipients of the 2024 Humanities Teacher Awards, which pay tribute to outstanding faculty in traditional humanities fields at each of our colleges and universities.

Tickets for the Mississippi Humanities Council Public Humanities Awards ceremony and reception are $50 each and may be purchased through the MHC website (https://mshumanities.org/program/public-humanities-awards/) 

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2024 MHC Public Humanities Awards to honor inspiring work

By Jackson Advocate News Service
December 11, 2023