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    New leader named at National Civil Rights Museum

    Michael Sheffield


    The National Civil Rights Museum has named a successor to Beverly Robertson.
    Terri Lee Freeman will take over as the Museum’s president beginning in early November. Robertson, who announced plans to retire late last year, will stay on until the end of the year to aid the transition.
    Freeman was previously president of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, a foundation that serves the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and northern Virginia. She served in that position for 18 years. During her tenure, Freeman was honored by MBJ sister publication Washington Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business” in 2005.
    Freeman said her goal is to highlight the achievements of people who currently work in different aspects to move the cause of civil rights forward.
    “The National Civil Rights Museum is a national treasure,” Freeman said. “You can’t visit and not be changed in some way. It connects history to the present and can help direct the future as long as we remain diligent in our monitoring and protection of civil rights.”
    Robertson served as president of the National Civil Rights Museum for 16 years, most recently overseeing the Museum’s $27 million expansion. The renovated Museum reopened in April.
    During an interview with MBJ in April, Pitt Hyde, one of the Museum’s board members and founder of AutoZone Inc., said in searching for Robertson’s replacement, they were looking for someone with Robertson’s “personality and enthusiasm.” Robertson and Hyde agreed that her successor needed to “bring a national presence to the Museum."
    “You’ve got to be a relationship builder beyond Memphis, Tennessee,” Robertson said. “This movement belongs to people all over the world. With what we have now, nobody in their wildest imagination would have ever thought 22-23 years ago this institution would be where it is today.”