International Slavery Museum new head announced
Michelle Charters has been named the new head of Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum.
The Liverpool-born community activist becomes the first Black woman to lead the Royal Albert Dock-based venue, part of NML and which is the only national museum in the world dedicated to the Transatlantic trade in enslaved African people and its legacies.
She will be responsible for guiding the museum through a £28million transformation which it is hoped will make it a world leader in understanding the impact and legacies of both historic and modern-day slavery.
Charters has been chief executive of Toxteth’s Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre since 2006 and was founding chair of the Merseyside Black History Month Group. She is also part of the RESPECT group, established in 2008.
She is currently a member of the National Museums Liverpool board of trustees and has been an advocate of the museum since she was first introduced to what was then the Transatlantic Slavery Gallery by the late Dorothy Kuya three decades ago.
Chambers said today: “I’m really excited to be joining such a forward-thinking organisation, which is making huge strides towards having the most representative audience and colleague profiles in the UK’s museums sector.
“It’s a privilege to be joining such a skilled, professional and loyal team and I’m proud to be the one who will lead the International Slavery Museum as it realises National Museum Liverpool’s ambition to become the world leader in understanding and exploring the impact and legacies of historic and modern slavery, and how it still influences the world today.”
Above: Inside the International Slavery Museum. Photo by Redman Design. Top: Michelle Charters. Photo by Pete Carr.
NML director Laura Pye added: “Michelle has been connected to NML for many years, but now is a really exciting time for her to be joining us as the Head of the International Slavery Museum.
“She brings with her a wealth of experience and passion for the museum and shares the vision that we have for its transformation. Michelle has been part of the history of this museum for many years, and we can't wait for her to be a part of its future.”
The International Slavery Museum and Merseyside Maritime Museum are set to be transformed with the assistance of National Lottery Heritage Fund support, including the redevelopment of the Dr Martin Luther King Jr building.
Charters will step down as an NML trustee and Kuumba Imani chief executive to take up her new role at the start of 2024.