Malika N. Pryor-Martin is the new chief learning and engagement officer at the International African American Museum in Charleston.
Pryor will provide strategic direction for creating museum programs and community engagement events — including K-12 school programs and curriculum, programming, and partnerships that support the museum’s faith-based initiatives, workshops, and engagements through the Center for Family History – at local, regional and national levels, according to an IAAM news release
The museum’s learning and engagement division is core to the activation of IAAM’s mission to honor the untold stories of the African American journey through the interpretation of nine museum galleries and the African Ancestors Memorial Garden, including education about crucial contributions Africans and African Americans have made to our history, examination of the transatlantic slave trade and the Middle Passage, and exploration of African communities that would later spread across the African Diaspora, the release stated.
“Malika is an exceptional addition to our museum’s team. She brings experience working with organizations — that have been built from the ground up — and a keen eye to help build our learning and engagement department and programs,” Tonya M. Matthews, president and CEO of the museum, said in the release. “We’re particularly excited about her record of partnering with educators to create impactful K-12 programs, and about her experiences in the international African-diasporic museum context as we build our international partnerships.
“Her passion for our mission and her leadership will be a critical spark as the museum continues to enlighten and inspire our communities with stories, culture, and history of the African American journey.”
As a member of the executive leadership team, Pryor-Martin will work closely with Matthews to establish partnerships and programs that help support and sustain the museum’s mission and goal of stewarding critical conversations and authentic history that move communities toward equity and reconciliation, according to the release.
Pryor-Martin brings over 16 years of experience in cultural arts and nonprofit to the museum, the release stated. A native of Detroit, Pryor-Martin received her Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Studies and Afro-American & African Studies from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor before going on to earn her Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State University Law School in Detroit.
“Sharing and interpreting millennial old stories while exploring contemporary, including speculative, narratives within an international African American context is soul work for me. It is the kind of work that naturally inspires dynamic outcomes because it’s nurtured by personal conviction and a lifelong passion for Black cultural representation,” Pryor-Martin said in the release. Soul work is complex and tough. The design of innovative experiences that make a lasting impact and build in-depth relationships with local, natural, and international audiences is not easy. Now, more than ever, I am ready and willing to lean into the challenge to thrive, serve, and deliver for IAAM.”