Michelle Charters Awarded OBE in 2024 King’s Birthday Honours

Michelle Charters, Head of the International Slavery Museum, has been awarded an OBE for her outstanding services to the community in Liverpool in the 2024 King’s Birthday Honours list.


Upon receiving the honour, Michelle Charters said:

“I accepted this as a recognition of the collective efforts of my community and the many individuals who have supported me along the way. As a Black person, this honour holds significant meaning, reflecting the progress we are making towards greater equity and representation, especially in my current role as Head of International Slavery Museum at National Museums Liverpool.

I acknowledge the historical significance of being a Black recipient of the OBE and its part in a broader narrative of inclusion, which will empower me and my community in providing an enhanced platform to amplify our voice, extend our reach, and achieve even more. It will also inspire others from the community and show young Black people in particular that success is attainable.”

A Community Advocate and Leader

Liverpool-born community activist Michelle Charters is currently leading the International Slavery Museum through a transformative £58 million redevelopment project, which also encompasses the Maritime Museum. This project aims to establish the venue as a global leader in understanding and exploring the impacts and legacies of both historic and modern slavery.

Michelle’s journey with National Museums Liverpool began in 1994 when she was first introduced to the Transatlantic Slavery Gallery at the Maritime Museum. Prior to her current role, she served as a trustee on National Museums Liverpool’s board for five years and is an active member of the RESPECT group, established in 2008.

For 18 years, Michelle was the CEO of the Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre in Toxteth, Liverpool—a multi-purpose center born from the vision of the Liverpool Black Sisters, an organization established in the 1970s to combat the various forms of discrimination faced by the Black community in the area.

Additionally, Michelle is the founding chair of the Merseyside Black History Month Group, the first Black woman to be appointed a trustee of the Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, and the chair of the ‘Eric Scott Lynch Slavery Heritage Trail’.

Waterfront Transformation Project

The National Museums Liverpool’s Waterfront Transformation Project spans the area between the Royal Albert Dock and Mann Island. This ambitious project involves key landmarks such as the International Slavery Museum (ISM), Maritime Museum (MM), Canning Quaysides, and Dry Docks, as well as multiple smaller dockside buildings.

Central to this project is the £58 million redevelopment of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Building (MLK), expanding the ISM into this space and providing it with its own dedicated entrance. The National Lottery Heritage Fund Horizon Award contributed £9.9 million to help realize these ambitions. Additionally, in March 2024, the project received £10 million from The Government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. Liverpool City Region Combined Authority also provided £185,000 of pre-development funding, furthering the Waterfront Transformation Project’s progress in addressing racial divides in the city.

For more information on the Waterfront Transformation Project, please visit National Museums Liverpool’s website.