Inside The Center January 2024 – Center Behind the Scenes 

Two new leaders joined The Center in 2023: Kama Pierce, Chief Program Officer, and Adriana Higgins, Chief Advancement Officer. We asked Kama and Adriana to tell us a bit about themselves.


Kama Pierce, Chief Program Officer Kama 254x254 1

Kama joined The Center in September 2023, and brings more than 25 years of experience working in civil rights, educational programming, and non-profit and education leadership to her role. Previously, Kama was Senior Vice President of Strategy, Marketing & Communications, for the Woodruff Arts Center. She is also a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2023. During her legal career, Kama served as Assistant Public Defender in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and as a staff attorney for the Third Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals.” 

Kama first discovered The Center during her work with a history museum in Charlotte, NC. Upon relocating to Atlanta in 2020, The Center became a top priority on her “must-visit” list in her new city.  

Kama says her role embodies her ideal of “leading with purpose,” a principle she embraced during her time at Leadership Atlanta. She loves the dynamic daily pace to drive and support the unique goals of our Education, Public Engagement, Initiatives, and Exhibitions teams, each dedicated to inspiring changemakers.


Adriana Higgins, Chief Advancement Officer Adriana Higgins

With over two decades of experience in nonprofit fundraising, resource development, and marketing, Adriana oversees The Center’s Development, Marketing, and Communications teams. She has built development and planned-giving programs to increase revenue at organizations like the Houston Zoo, Habitat for Humanity International, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in Houston (where she was CEO), Piedmont Healthcare Foundation, and Measures for Justice.  

Upon relocating to Atlanta, numerous friends recommended The Center as an essential cultural organization. Adriana was attracted by the opportunity to cultivate national support for an outstanding organization and to spearhead fundraising initiatives to educate future generations.  

Adriana is grateful for the chance to collaborate with talented colleagues who share her passion for fostering The Center as an exceptional educational hub for civil and human rights history. 

Kama and Adriana discussed their work as well as life outside of the museum.  


What do you find most rewarding about your work so far?  

Kama: Hands down it is the people. That includes working with our dedicated staff; meeting and strategizing with community partners; and striving to uncover, understand, and share the stories of the people from our past. 

Adriana: Seeing all the students and school groups coming through The Center and knowing this is often due to donor support is rewarding. We always want donors to know that with their support, more students and families can experience free programs throughout the year.

What is your favorite part of the museum?  

Kama: My favorite exhibit changes constantly. In January, I would have to say it is our gallery where we display selections from the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection. Our exhibition and education leaders have collaborated wonderfully with our historian partners to curate our new rotation. This year, we take a deep dive into the events of 1964 which had a profound effect on the civil rights movement. 

Adriana: Like so many of our visitors, I’m continually inspired by our pre-function floor which puts Dr. King’s words front and center, beginning with our “Fragments” installation. When I walk through the museum, I love seeing young people taking pictures with Dr. King’s words as an inspirational backdrop. 

How do you like to recharge?  

Kama: Recharging is a necessity, and I do so by leashing up Baxter, my Lab-mix dog, and hitting the park or road to disappear for a bit with “woman’s best friend.” 

Adriana: I love music, and I’m most recharged when I listen or dance to Calypso and Soca – preferably at a beach.