After nine-plus years at the National Civil Rights Museum, Faith Morris has retired as chief marketing and external affairs officer and returned to Chicago, where she raised her family. Her association with NCRM is going, including a leading role in the production of the annual Freedom Awards. (Courtesy photo)

“To everything, there is a season. Seasons change, everything changes, and it is time,” said Faith Morris, who has stepped away from the position of chief marketing and external affairs officer of the National Civil Rights Museum (NCRM).

After an announcement in early December, Morris’ last day on the job was Dec. 31. While now retired from her full-time post, she is maintaining her association with the NCRM.

“I’m a Memphis girl at heart,” said Morris. “I was away for over 25 years. I raised my family in Chicago. … I’m not running from Memphis. I’m moving back to Chicago. I will continue at the National Civil Rights Museum as the senior advisor to the president, but also work as managing director and producer of Freedom Awards.”

Faith Morris — for years — looked out upon Memphis from the balcony where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot on April 4, 1968. (Courtesy reporter)

During her nine-plus years at the museum, Morris — “trying to do good in this city — worked to become “part of the fabric of the museum and to do what the museum needs to do in Memphis….”

Morris reflected on joining the museum in August 2013 and having the Freedom Awards put in her lap. The  “baptism by fire” was “the beginning of a love affair with the museum.”

Faith Morris’ continued association with the NCRM includes serving as senior advisor to President Dr. Russell T. Wigginton. (Courtesy photo)

NCRM President Dr. Russell T. Wigginton praised Morris for “brilliant vision and leadership” in presenting the annual Freedom Awards events.

“The Freedom Awards inspire and motivate people to continue the work of justice and equity for all throughout the world,” said Wigginton. “Faith’s contributions in making our signature awards such a hallmark, both locally and globally, has been invaluable. We are pleased to have her continue that work with us.”

Morris praised the three presidents with whom she worked as unique and innovative administrators. Beverly Robertson brought her from Chicago, where Morris ran a successful branding and marketing firm.

“I was very fortunate to work under Beverly because she was both an employer and a mentor,” said Morris. “I learned so much from her. But she left a year and a half after bringing me down to Memphis.

“I continued to lean on her as a valued advisor in my role at the museum. She has known me from a very small child. Beverly promised that great things were in store for me. I did come, and she was right.”

Robertson praised Morris as a tremendous asset to the museum.

“Faith is an awesome marketing professional who brought a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and national experience to the National Civil Rights Museum. She has elevated the presence of the museum and has secured some of the highest visitor numbers the museum has ever seen…We owe Faith a tremendous debt of gratitude for her work in advancing the mission of the museum and exposing thousands of visitors to this historic, iconic site.”

At her retirement party, Faith Morris enjoyed the company of former NCRM presidents Beverly Robertson (left) and Dr. Terri L. Freeman. (Courtesy photo)

Dr. Terri L. Freeman, who served as museum president between Robertson and Wigginton, praised Morris as “one of the most skilled marketers I’ve ever worked with…. She understands the importance of storytelling.… My work at the museum was made easier because she was so effective…

”She has great connections and was never afraid to use those connections to promote the mission of the museum. Faith has contributed in immeasurable ways to the increased promotion of the museum, and her absence will be palpable.”

Morris said in opening this new chapter of her life, her return to Chicago will be a new pursuit in getting back to what she knows best — agency work.

“I will not only continue as the senior advisor of the museum, but I will also be the curator and producer of the re-opening of Tom Lee Park…

“So, I’m not running away from Memphis. Memphis will always be home. Memphis is my heart.”

Faith Morris’ evolved role with the NCRM after her retirement includes serving as managing director and producer of the Freedom Awards. (Courtesy photo)

GALLERY