Mississippi Humanities Council Elects McDaniels and Lumumba to Leadership

JACKSON, Miss. – The board of the Mississippi Humanities Council has elected Preselfannie McDaniels, Ph.D., dean of Graduate Studies at Jackson State University, as its board chair; and Ebony Lumumba, Ph.D., chair of the JSU Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Speech Communication, as board secretary.

First elected to the Humanities Council board in 2016, McDaniels has served the board in various capacities, including as vice-chair and a member of its grant review committee. McDaniels is the third Jackson State faculty member to be elected council chair, following in the footsteps of Estus Smith, Ph.D., and Leslie McLemore, Ph.D.

“Dr. McDaniels has brought a wealth of talent and experience to our board,” said MHC Executive Director Stuart Rockoff, Ph.D. “She is continuing in a long tradition of Jackson State University leadership in the MHC, going back to the founding of the council fifty years ago.”

Lumumba has been a council board member since 2018, and joins its executive committee for a two-year term as secretary.

“Dr. Lumumba has been a vital member of the MHC board,” said Rockoff. “She has led our grant review committee for the past two years, helping us distribute over $1 million in federal COVID relief to cultural organizations across the state.”

The Mississippi Humanities Council has been closely associated with Jackson State since its founding 50 years ago when John Peoples, Jr., Ph.D., and Smith helped establish the council, along with other leaders of Mississippi’s institutions of higher learning.

The Mississippi Humanities Council is a private nonprofit corporation funded by Congress through the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide public programs in traditional liberal arts disciplines to serve nonprofit groups in Mississippi. The Mississippi Humanities Council creates opportunities for Mississippians to learn about themselves and the larger world and enriches communities through civil conversations about our history and culture.