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Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, will be the 2018 Medgar Wiley Evers Lecture Series speaker. The program will be held Thursday, April 19, at 6 p.m. at Galloway United Methodist Church in Jackson. The event is free and open to the public.

“Lonnie Bunch has orchestrated the building of the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture,” said Kane Ditto, president of the board of trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. “We are honored and excited to welcome him to our state to see the Two Mississippi Museums and to deliver the 2018 Medgar Wiley Evers Lecture.”

As director, Bunch is the lead administrator and senior curator of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Since opening in September 2016, the museum has welcomed more than 3.5 million visitors. Bunch was named director in 2005 after serving for four years as the president of the Chicago Historical Society, now known as the Chicago History Museum, from 2001 to 2005.

The Medgar Wiley Evers Lecture Series was established in 2003 to honor the legacy of civil rights leader Medgar Evers, one year after Myrlie Evers made an extraordinary gift to the people of Mississippi when she presented the Medgar and Myrlie Evers papers to the Department of Archives and History. Previous Evers lecturers include Henry Louis Gates, Robert P. Moses, and Manning Marable. The series is supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

“We are grateful for the generosity of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which allows us to expand and enhance such signature MDAH programs as the Medgar Wiley Evers Lecture Series,” said MDAH director Katie Blount.

In 2014, the Kellogg Foundation awarded $2.3 million to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History to support programming at the Two Mississippi Museums and fund a partnership between MDAH and the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute.

The lecture will be held at Galloway United Methodist Church, located at 305 N. Congress Street in Jackson.

The Museum of Mississippi History explores the entire sweep of the state's history. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum explores the period from 1945 to 1976, when Mississippi was ground zero for the Civil Rights Movement nationally. For more information, call 601-576-6800 or visit http://www.mdah.ms.gov/2MM/.

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