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Write On, Mississippi: Season 3. Chapter 11: Roy DeBerry

Season 3, Ep. 11

A native of Holly Springs, Mississippi, Roy is the Executive Director and one of the founders of the Hill Country Project. He was active in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, first as a Freedom School student (whose teacher was Hill Country co-founder Aviva Futorian) and then as a general organizer. Roy earned his bachelor's degree in Sociology at Brandeis University in 1970. Continuing his education at Brandeis, he went on to earn a Masters and later a Doctorate in Political Science. He has also pursued additional studies at Jackson State University, Duke University, Carnegie-Mellon University, the University of Michigan and Harvard. Roy is certified to teach at the high school level, and has extensive administrative management experience. Roy believes firmly in education and strongly in a collaboration among education, human service, faith-based organizations and the business community. He also works to expand parent, community, alumni and business support for higher education.

Active in many community, civic and professional organizations, Roy has received numerous awards and has been cited for outstanding achievements and contributions. Roy recently retired as Vice President for Economic Development and Local Governmental Affairs at Jackson State University. During his administrative tenure at Jackson State, he also served as Executive Vice President and Vice President of External Relations. He has a wife, Rubye and one daughter, Aisha Isoke.



Pamela D.C. Junior

Motivational speaker, historian, and women’s activist, Pamela D.C. Junior is the newly appointed director of the Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson, Mississippi. As former manager of Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center, Pamela fought passionately and tirelessly to make the Museum a first-class place of interpretation, bringing the museum from financial struggles to features across the nation, most notably, one of CNN’s “50 States, 50 Spots”. After seventeen years of service at Smith Roberson, Pamela became the inaugural director of the first state-sponsored civil rights museum in the nation, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museums were she welcomed more than 250,000 visitors in her first year, and today, she is at the helm of the Two Mississippi Museums. Here she continues her tireless work to share the stories of Mississippi with audiences all over the world. She believes the stories told in the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum should be used as an educational tool for students. In her words, “If we teach children about the history of Mississippi—sharing the events that give us hope and bring us despair in a public space, where we see examples of people who never gave up, whose strength and tenacity can now give us hope and inspire us all to see others as we see ourselves— you will secure a twinkle in the eyes of many that will last a lifetime.” 

Pamela has been honored over the years for her professional work as well as her community work. In 2015, she was awarded the Margaret Walker Center’s coveted For My People Award, in 2018 she was selected for Visit Jackson’s Hometown Hero and the Magnolia Bar Association’s Harriet Tubman awards, and most recently, she was honored with the 2019 Association of African American Museums Museum Leadership Award for her work in the museum field.

Pamela continues to serve her community with her recent appointments board member for Visit Jackson and advisory board member for the Mississippi Book Festival. She is also a member of Women for Progress of Mississippi. As a woman who knows that she did not get to this position without standing on the shoulders of many women whose vision for African Americans lives on today, she gives homage to the great women of her life such as her grandmother, mother, and mentors.

Pamela is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, and earned a B.S. in Education, with a minor in Special Education from Jackson State University.  

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10/20/2020

Write On, Mississippi SEASON 3, Chapter 14: Cassandra King Conroy and Mathew Guinn

Season 3, Ep. 14
Join these two Pat Conroy loving, Southern novelists for a podcast on WRITE ON, MISSISSIPPI! as they discuss Cassandra's new memoir, TELL ME A STORY.Cassandra King Conroy is an award-winning author of five novels, a book of nonfiction, numerous short stories, magazine articles, and essays. She has taught creative writing on the college level, conducted corporate writing seminars, and worked as a human interest reporter.King’s first novel, Making Waves has been through numerous printings since its release in 1995. Her second novel, the New York Times bestseller The Sunday Wife, was a Booksense choice; a Literary Guild and Book-of-the-Month Club selection; a People Magazine Page-Turner of the Week; Books-a-Million President’s Pick; Utah’s Salt Lake Libraries Readers’ Choice Award nominee; and a South Carolina Readers’ Circle selection. As one of Booksense’s top discussion selections, The Sunday Wife was selected by the Nestle Corporation for a national campaign to promote reading groups.The Same Sweet Girls was the national number one Booksense Selection on its release in January 2005; a Book-of-the-Month Club and Literary Guild selection; and spent several weeks on both the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. BothThe Sunday Wife and The Same Sweet Girls were nominated for Southern Independent Booksellers Association’s book of the year award. A fourth novel, Queen of Broken Hearts, set in King’s home state of Alabama and released March 2007, became a Literary Guild and Book-of-the-Month Club Selection as well as a SIBA bestseller.The fifth novel, Moonrise, was a SIBA Okra Pick and a Southern Booksellers bestseller, as was her book of non-fiction, released in 2013, The Same Sweet Girls Guide to Life.Most recently, King has been writing for Coastal Living and Southern Living as well as contributing essays to various anthologies. Her new book is a memoir, Tell Me a Story: My Life With Pat Conroy and it was released from William Morrow on October 29, 2019.