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JACKSON STATE UNIVERSITY CORE FACULTY • Dr. Leslie Burl McLemore, Director, Political Scientist (Emeritus) at Jackson State University and Veteran of the Civil Rights Movement •

Dr. Michelle D. Deardorff, Political Scientist at Jackson State University

Dr. Jeff Kolnick, Historian, Southwest Minnesota State University

Dr. Daphne Chamberlain, Research Fellow

STAFF • Latosha A. Garrett, Administrative Assistant/ Program Coordinator •

Keith Lamont Mcmillian, Project Coordinator

Ja’Lisa Jordan and Michael Morris, Graduate Research Assistants



Save The Date $35 PER PERSON

Inside this issue: Directors Note


History of the Institute


Medgar Evers/ Ella Baker Lecture Series


2011 Humanitarian Awards Luncheon


MS Freedom 50th Freedom Riders Reunion


Pivotal Role of Young People


2011 Teaching American History


From Freedom Summer to the Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike


The Hamer Institute Faculty and Staff


COFO Civil Rights Education Center



LOCATION: Jackson State University New Student Center Ballroom A

WHEN: APRIL 20, 2012

TIME: 11:30 A.M.-1:30 P.M. For More Information please contact the Hamer Institute at 601-979-1563 or email us at You may also visit our website at

The Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy at Jackson State University extends an invitation for you to become a participant in the Fannie Lou Hamer Humanitarian Awards Luncheon, to be held on Friday, April 20, 2012, 11:30 A.M. – 1:30 P.M. in the New Student Center, Ballroom A located on the campus of Jackson State University. The Purpose of this Award Luncheon is to honor individuals and organizations that have made major contributions to the areas of service and leadership in the pursuit of social, economic, political, and environmental justice and equality within the state of Mississippi and abroad.

2012 HAMER HUMANITARIAN AWARD RECIPIENTS John Garner Civil Rights Veteran, Retired Physics Professor Tougaloo College, Jackson, Mississippi

Susan Glisson Executive Director, William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, Oxford, Mississippi

Hickman Johnson Senior Pastor, Farish Street Baptist Church, Jackson, Mississippi

Flonzie Brown-Wright

President FBW & Associates, Inc., Author, Civil Rights Trailblazer, Jackson, MS

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Hamer Happenings


THIS is an exciting time for the

Dr. Leslie Burl McLemore, Director, The Hamer Institute

Hamer Institute. Various programs, lectures, symposiums, and town hall style discussions have laid the groundwork for critical dialogue between the institute, students, community and visitors, and we are anticipating many more opportunities for outreach and education in the very near future. Whether we are conducting summer youth programs, continuing education for Jackson Public School teachers, enlightening community college professors, or hosting a lecture series throughout the academic year, we strive to offer non-stop educational opportunities for everyone. With continued support from the community we can work together to continue our steady progress. This edition of Hamer Happenings not only highlights the programs and institutes of this past 2011 year, but it also shines a light on the Faculty and Staff that made them happen. In addition to the various programs, we are in the process of completing the transformation of t he C oun c i l o f F e de r at e d Organizations building on John Roy Lynch Street. Once finalized, the COFO building will be a crown jewel of education for the community. The COFO building, in conjunction with the on-going revitalization of historic Lynch

Street, creates a “Civil Rights Corridor.” When completed, community members, activists as well as students, will be proud of the facility, and we anticipate it becoming a mecca of Civil Rights history in Jackson. When you find yourself in Jackson, feel free to stop by the COFO complex; attend a lecture or discussion; and take part in our continuing mission to educate and improve the community. We can all work together to continue to make the social and structural improvements necessary to advance our community’s cause, and truly be a part of our efforts as we move forward in “Challenging Minds and Changing Lives.”

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THE HAMER INSTITUTE FOUNDED IN 1997, the mission of the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy is to promote positive social change by examining and teaching the tools and experiences of those who struggle to create, expand, and sustain civil rights, social justice, and citizenship. A coalition of academics who partner with social institutions in the local community, the Hamer Institute advocates civic engagement and popular sovereignty through the study of the struggle for civil rights in the United States. As a part of Jackson State University, we work with local school boards and colleges, national funding organizations, state agencies, and local civil rights organizations to encourage local communities to embrace political engagement and agency. The Hamer Institute has annually offered a summer workshop for area students on local civil rights history, while simultaneously exposing them not only to community leaders, but a university campus. We have partnered with Jackson Public Schools—not only offering regular development opportunities for teachers, classroom visits, and summer workshops on civil rights, but through the five-year U.S. Department of Education’s Teaching American History grant regular professional development programming and a two-week summer workshop providing both cutting-edge content and pedagogy for teachers of American History. Via the Medgar Evers/ Ella Baker lecture series, co-sponsored with the Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and the Margaret Walker Alexander Research Center, monthly panels on topics of interest to the community are offered in locations throughout the metropolitan area and into the Delta. Under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and through a partnership with Rhodes College (Memphis) and the National Civil Rights

Museum, a workshop for community college faculty on landmarks of the civil rights movement exposes faculty from Mississippi and the nation to the benefits of engaging students using such resources as local landmarks, oral history panels, music, and primary documents. Our attempts to improve economic development in the Delta and central Jackson has led to collaborations with and grants from the Mississippi Development Authority and the NEH to work on recording and preserving local civil rights sites and developing driving trails for such Mississippi communities as Greenwood, Indianola, and Ruleville and the development of a Civil Rights Corridor adjacent to Jackson State’s campus on Lynch Street. Other partnerships have led to: a year-long celebration of the Jackson Civil Rights Movement (Tougaloo College and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History); a yearly symposia for college faculty, students, community activists, and teachers on the impact of recent civil rights and education scholarship (Mississippi Humanities Council); the training of teachers state-wide in the content of the new civil rights curriculum (William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi, Mississippi Department of Education, and Teaching for Change); and many other programs. Here at the Hamer Institute, we are generous in our willingness to share our expertise with the community, constant in our commitment to local public education, and increasingly prominent in the national debate on civic engagement and citizenship education.

Hamer Faculty & Staff: Left to Right: Leslie Burl McLemore, Latosha Garrett, Mary D. Coleman, Michelle D. Deardorff, Keith L. McMillian

… this workshop was one of the best learning experiences that I have ever had. The entire experience was both uplifting and humbling! - Dr. Derrick R. Brooms, Assistant Professor, Sociology, Prairie State College—2011 Landmarks of Democracy Participant

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THE MEDGAR EVERS/ ELLA BAKER CIVIL RIGHTS LECTURE SERIES The Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy at Jackson State University, the Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, and the Margaret Walker Center present the establishment of the Medgar Evers/Ella Baker Lecture Series. The Lecture Series is one of many cooperative projects sponsored by the Hamer Institute. The series honors two icons of the Civil Rights Movement, Medgar Evers and Ella Baker who were pioneers in effectuating social change. They were pioneers

in effectuating change not only in Mississippi, but across the nation. Dr. Leslie Burl McLemore, Director of the Hamer Institute at Jackson State has indicated, “The Evers/Baker Lecture Series will serve as a community forum for the city of Jackson and the entire state of Mississippi.” He further stated, “The lecture series will present some of the leading figures who helped to change the American political and social landscape.”

The Future of the SWAC and HBCU’s Amidst dwindling budgets, shrinking attendance, crumbling facilities and talk of school closure and consolidation, the future of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) has rarely been more uncertain. Some of the SWAC’s best-known figures joined in an open dialogue on Tuesday February 8, 2011 at the Trustmark Conference Center at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum in Jackson, MS. Among those attended included: Marino Casem and W.C. Gorden, the winningest football coaches at Alcorn State University and Jackson State University respectively; MVSU athletic director Donald Ray Sims; current JSU golf

coach Eddie Payton; and former MVSU athletic director Lonza Hardy. Long-time USA Today reporter and SWAC observer, Roscoe Nance, moderated this event.

The Legacy of African American Women in Civil Rights: Victoria Gray Adams, Annie Devine, Fannie Lou Hamer As co-founders of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, these three revolutionaries became the first black women to be seated on the floor of the house of representatives. As a prelude to the Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement annual Conference, this intergenerational dialogue discussed the current issues regarding women and the movement of power in the political process. This panel included Dr. Margaret Burnham, Professor, Northeastern University School of Law and Project Director,

the Civil Rights & Restorative Justice Project, Mrs. Martha Norman Noonan, former Field Secretary, SNCC, Mrs. Brend Travis, Board member of the VMCRM and Mrs. Flonzie Brown Wright, President, FBW & Associates, and Civil Rights Veteran. Held on the historic campus of Tougaloo College, this event took place the day before the Annual Veterans Conference on Wednesday, March 23, 2011

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A Growing Decline of Black Males in Post-Secondary Institutions: An Educational Conundrum How to improve enrollment of black males in higher education was the topic of discussion held at the Smith Robertson Museum in Jackson, Thursday, April 14, 2011. The panelists of educators and school administrators discussed the growing decline of black males in college. In Mississippi, black males made up nearly 12% of students in public universities compared to more than 24% black females. Approximately one in four African American males

between 20 and 29 years of age are incarcerated, on probation or on parole. "What we're trying to do is make sure that young people understand that higher education is available. We need to make sure that we provide the proper role models for them so they can choose a life of education as oppose to the other side of the coin," said Dr. Leslie McLemore, Director of the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute at Jackson State University.

L-R: Dr. Alfred Rankins, Jr., Mr. Albert Sykes, Dr. Nikisha G. Ware, Dr. Marcus Chanay, and Mr. Keith L. McMillian— Moderator

Remembering the Freedom Rides: A Prelude to the 50th Commemoration of the 1961 Freedom Rides The morning of Wednesday, April 20, 2011, was dedicated to infusing local freedom riders and their experiences into the Jim Hill High School youth population. Mr. Bobbie Brown, Principal of Jim Hill High School, was excited about this event being at his school. He was even more excited about having an alumnus of Jim Hill as part of the panel, Rev. Amos C. Brown. “Today is a very special day, Mr. Brown said. “not only for you, but for me as well. We have to be a little bias to Dr. Amos Brown because he is a 1959 graduate of Jim Hill High School”. Mrs. Flonzie Brown-Wright excited the crowd of more than 415 students, parents, teachers and community leaders, as she gave an overview of the upcoming MS Freedom 50th Freedom Riders Reunion. “Today, we have come to celebrate and pay tribute to the 13 original freedom riders as well as those others who believed that freedom and justice was for everybody, not just certain people. We are uniting and inviting our brothers and sisters to come back home”, as she added the Stephanie Mills popular hit “When I Think of Home”. Dr. Daphne R. Chamberlain gave an overview of the 1961 Freedom Rides and introduced the panel members. During this two-day series, Civil rights leaders had an opportunity to educate Jackson high school students through a living history lesson. Fred Douglas Moore Clark Sr. says, "This generation needs to come closer

together, as I stated the family is taking a beating. This civil rights thing will serve to make up for that." According to a WLBT interview, Jackson businessman Hezekiah Watkins grew up in the neighborhood and joined the Freedom Riders in the 60's. He says, "I want them making a difference within their lives within their communities, within their schools here even the church they attend it's about doing some thing positive." Later that afternoon during a “Meet and Greet Reception”, Dr. Amos C. Brown said he never felt better for being at his Alma mater. He captured an awaiting audience with his keynote address - “Rituals of Remembrance”. “If we are going to deal with this 50% of black incarceration and this pipeline from the cradle to the prison, we got to get back to rituals of remembrance. Part II of this series was held at the COFO Civil Rights Education Center on Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. Jim Hill High School Student, Jerek Brown, opened this discussion with an overview of his senior level extended essay: “The Generational Influences, Forces, and Factors that Gave Rise to the Modern Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi During the 1940’s – 1960’s”. After his overview, he gave homage to the freedom riders for their courage and strength for sticking up for what they believed in. The panel members included: Mr. Fred Douglas Moore Clarke, Sr., Mrs. Clarece Coney, Mrs. Mary Harrison Lee, Mr. Hezekiah Watkins and Reverend Dr. Amos C. Brown.

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Hamer Happenings

The Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy

M. Galloway


D. Ladd

D. Ladner

J. Mitchell

B. Pigott

H. Watkins

On Friday, April 15, 2011, The Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy recognized six exceptional individuals at the 5th Annual Fannie Lou Hamer Humanitarian Awards Luncheon on Friday, April 15, 2011. The honorees received the Fannie Lou Hamer Humanitarian Award in an 11:30 a.m. ceremony held in Ballrooms A & B of the New Student Union on the campus of Jackson State University. The honorees included: Mrs. Monica Galloway of Jackson, Mississippi. She has served as Operations Director for the Mississippi Center for Justice since its founding in 2002. Monica oversees the Center’s financial, administrative and operations functions. The Hamer Institute also recognized Mrs. Donna Ladd, an American investigative journalist and co-founder of the Jackson Free Press, Mississippi’s only progressive newspaper. In 2005, she led a team of young native Mississippians to cover and blog about the Edgar Ray Killen trial and, working with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to revisit the 1964 Klan murders of Charles Moore and Henry Dee. Civil rights activist, Mrs. Dorie Ladner, arrested for attempting to



integrate the Woolworths’ lunch counter, is another honoree the Hamer Institute honored during this event. She served on the front-line of the Civil Rights Movement in various capacities including participating in every civil rights march within a five year period including the March on Washington in 1963, the Selma to Montgomery March of 1965 and the Poor Peoples March in 1968. The Hamer Institute recognized Mr. Jerry Mitchell, an investigative reporter for the Clarion Ledger, a Jackson, Mississippi based newspaper. His investigative reporting style has led to the arrest of several Klansmen and promoted authorities to reexamine numerous “cold cases” killings during the civil rights era. For his investigative work, Mitchell has won more than 20 national awards, including a MacArthur Foundation genius grant and the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service.

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R ECOGNIZING V ISIONS OF THE P AST , T ODAY Mr. Brad Pigott, noted for his community outreach, was also given recognition for his accomplishments. Pigott established a nationally recognized “Weed & Seed” and “Safe Streets” program to both reduce and prevent crime. As an advocate of proactive civil enforcement, he worked to add resources for the district's civil division. As a United States Attorney, Brad brought the only murder charge ever made by the US Government itself against any Ku Klux Klan member for a 1960s-era killing of an African American. The Co-founder and President of Southern Echo, Inc., Mr. Hollis Watkins, is a powerful force in the efforts to carry on the unfinished business of the civil rights movement. Watkins played a role in keeping the music of the civil rights movement alive. Having been sustained by music when he was hanging from handcuffs in a cell in Parchman prison in the 60’s, he includes the musical traditions of the civil rights movement into the struggle of today, making it part of his organizing and bringing its message to a new generation of activists. The guest speaker for this event was Dr. Jeff Kolnick, Historian, Southwest Minnesota State University.

MADDRAMA (Making a Difference Doing Respectable and Meaningful Art), the official drama club within the Department of Speech Communication and Theater at Jackson State University, entertained the awaiting audience as they presented the honorees with a Theatrical Journey of their own individual accomplishments. The Hamer Institute is honored to be able to recognize these special persons in our state. Collectively and individually, they have helped to change the course of human history and have been instrumental in modeling a civil society. Keith Lamont McMillian, Project Coordinator

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Judge Reuben Anderson, Mr. Eric Etheridge and Dr. Leslie Burl McLemore at the Freedom Riders Legacy Banquet

Mr. Byron C. Williams, Dr. Leslie Burl McLemore, Dr. Daphne R. Chamberlain and Mr. Keith L. McMillian Hamer Institute Faculty and Staff at the COFO Center

On May 24, 1961, young men and women, both black and white, arrived in Jackson. As they stepped off Trailways and Greyhound buses, they were arrested, charged with breach of the peace and quickly convicted. During the early 1960’s, Mississippi increasingly became a hotbed for civil rights activity. Five decades later, nearly 100 original freedom riders, returned to Jackson Mississippi to a much more welcoming reception. This momentous event brought back families and friends to share their remarkable stories. It was clearly one of the largest gatherings of Freedom Riders since they changed the course of American history half a century ago. As noted in the USA Travel Guide, “not only will this event be a stirring and emotional experience for the Riders themselves, but, Mississippi Freedom 50th: Return of the Freedom Riders promises to be a deeply fascinating and moving program for visitors as well.” One writer said, "The tone of the week-long festivities in Jackson at time resembled a church revival. It was at time celebratory and melancholy.” During the week of May 23 – May 26, 2011, The Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy at Jackson State University was represented by its faculty, staff, graduate assistants, and volunteers on many of this week’s events and programs. The Return of the Freedom Riders 50th Anniversary Reunion National Youth Leadership Summit was coordinated in part by: Dr. Daphne R. Chamberlain and Mr. Byron C. Williams, Youth Leadership Summit Coordinators. Along

with Freedom Rider, Lewis Zuchman and Youth Leadership Summit Chair Albert Sykes, they helped to plan and execute a successful “youth track” that engaged more than approximately 275 young people from across the United States including New York, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Their activities included: an opening dinner and dance, Intergenerational Story Circles, a concert featuring Skipp Coon, PyInfamous, Power Riders, Anthony Maleek, Calico Panache’, The Young Peoples Project, Tennessee State Commercial Music Ensemble and others. From songwriting workshops to concurrent sessions (Cradle to Prison Pipeline, Juvenile Justice and Quality Education as a Constitutional Right) the attending youth were betrothed throughout the week. Other programs and events include: The All Peoples Reception honoring the Freedom Riders, Guided visit to Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, Visit to the Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial and other Civil Rights Sites, daily youth leadership forums and activities plus much more. Chronicled daily, here is an abbreviated account of the activities our graduate assistants experienced:

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Return of the Freedom Riders 50th Anniversary Reunion: As told by Hamer Institute Graduate Assistants, Ja’Lisa Jordan and Michael Morris Sunday May 22, 2011 “Hallelujah I’m A Traveling”: This was the first day of the conference. The courageous Freedom Riders of yesterday shuffled into the hotel lobby with great dignity. Some were thrilled to reunite with old friends while others wiggled in anticipation to share their story with the attending youth. I was honored to volunteer at the table catering to the needs of the riders during the registration process. One by one they came to my table, autographed my souvenir journal, and shared short stories of their experience as riders. Later that night, an All Peoples Reception honoring the Freedom Riders helped bridge together two generations of people in a relaxed atmosphere. Their graduation style entrance properly introduced individual riders to the general public.—J.J. Monday May 23, 2011”Woke up This Morning with My Mind Stayed on Freedom”: I participated in the dedication of freedom trail marker at the Medgar Evers home museum. I was able to walk through the home Evers shared with his family and was assassinated in front of on June 12, 1963. Myrlie Evers, arguably the strongest and most sincere woman I have ever heard or read about, was standing a few feet away from me. Her smile and pride shone through like a ray of light. She was surrounded by her family and close friends, as she signed the freedom marker in front of her old home. As her call for change beckoned, in the horizon one could see the parade of greyhound buses as the “Freedom Riders” arrived. Evers said, “I cannot tell you how moved I am; how rededicated I am; to the fight of justice and equality, to see the freedom Riders - all those of you who went through hell to see that today would be a better day not only for ourselves, but for our children and generations to come.” Although I stand behind the stage in charge of the curtain, I experienced young people coming together for a positive combination of both history and hope. - J.J. *Tuesday May 24, 2011 “Buses Are a Coming, Oh Yeah”: The Freedom Rider Legacy Banquet was a phenomenal event. Located at the state-of-the-art Jackson Convention Complex, this event was a formal celebration of the efforts of the Freedom Riders. More than 850 Freedom Riders and their families were in attendance. Music was provided by both, Mr. James C. Martin, Baritone and the World Renowned, Jim Hill High School Ensemble, under the direction of Mr. James Hawkins. Special guest included Judge James Graves, United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, Mr. Ben Jealous, President, NAACP, and Mr. Roland Parrish, Chairman & CEO, National Black McDonald’s Operators Association. After presentations were given and the Freedom Riders group picture was taken, the audience was entertained by International Recording Artist, Ms. Dorothy Moore. M.M. Wednesday May 25, 2011 “Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round”: The Civil Rights Tour was an opportunity for Freedom Riders to get on the bus together again: only this ride would serve to remind them how far the

State of Mississippi has come. The buses traveled deep into the Mississippi Delta stopping at significant Civil Rights landmarks along what is called the Mississippi “Freedom Trail”, a program designed to commemorate the states civil rights history. The first stop along the journey was Bryant’s Grocery Store in Money, Mississippi. This is where Emmett Till is said to have spoken to a white woman, an action that led to his heinous murder three days later. A few Freedom Riders spoke in front of the historical marker about the injustice that had occurred there and about how to improve the plight of the youth today. Once on the bus and headed towards Parch man Penitentiary, the Freedom Riders began to sing Freedom songs in remembrance of the journey many of them made fifty years ago. The Freedom Riders were well received by the Penitentiary staff who prepared a delicious meal for lunch. While eating, the Riders were given an official apology from the prison for the injustices and treatment they suffered fifty years ago. The Riders were given the opportunity to visit holding cells in which the women were held. This was a memorable and emotional event because many were able to reminisce on their time spent there, recalling the exact spots were they ate and slept. Our next destination was to Ruleville, Mississippi to visit the Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial. People began to speak on their memories of Fannie Lou Hamer and the impact she left on their lives. Finally, our next stop was the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola, Mississippi where the Freedom Riders were able to enjoy food, drinks and live blues music. - M.M. Thursday May 26, 2011 “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize”: This day was of particular significance to me. For almost a year, I have been working as a grad assistant for the COFO center (Council of Federated Organizations), and it has always amazed me how close to history I find myself, every time I enter the building. Today, the riders were coming to visit, many of whom have not been in the building since it was opened and operated during the years of 1961-1965. The excitement and nostalgia filled the air; the feeling of honor became overwhelming as I skipped around taking as many pictures as I possibly could. Receiving autographs from people like Hank Thomas, Delores Lynch, Mary Lee, John Taylor and Dave Dennis just to name a few. It was a great moment to witness Dr. Ladner view the exhibit of her for the first time, and to capture the expression on her face on film was sensational. I was thrilled to meet Carol Silver, a freedom rider made famous by her chess set made completely out of bread during her incarceration in Parch man fifty years ago, not only took a picture next to her exhibit but also with me. Her conversation encouraged and enlightened me. “Opposition will always surround you, but support and a strong determination push you through”. What a great opportunity to be a part of such a momentous occasion, I would not trade this experience for the world. - J.J.

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PIVOTAL ROLE OF YOUNG PEOPLE - Ja’Lisa Jorden & Michael Morris

“...this summer program “teaches something that I feel is strongly missing in our schools. To be part of an organization that informs students what happened and who came before them is an honor.” Rose Wright, Youth Workshop Program Instructor

“...admonishing them with the concept best articulated by Carter G. Woodson “no man knows what he can do, until he tries.” - Ja’Lisa Jorden, Graduate Assistant

The week of June 13-17, 2011 paid homage to those courageous young people from our not too distant past, by simply gathering thirteen 7-12 graders from neighboring schools, in the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute annual summer youth workshop entitled “The Southern Civil Rights Movement: The Pivotal Role of Young People”. The workshop was conducted by Hamer’s core faculty members: Dr. D a p h n e Chamberlain, Dr. Michelle D. Deardorff, Dr. Leslie Burl McLemore and Dr. Jeff Kolnick. This engaging lecture series entrenched the students in the culture of the movement. Oral history panels of student activists of the time facing strong oppositions and making history. The discussion of how schools such as Lanier High School i m p a c t e d protesters and local movements. Students left amazed yet encouraged at the simple fact that people around the same age as themselves changed the tide of social history forever. Students also had the opportunity to meet key civil rights leaders and supporters

such as: Investigative Reporter for the Clarion-Ledger, Jerry Mitchell, whom discussed how his life as a reporter coincided with the civil rights movement, especially in the deaths of Medgar Evers and Vernon Dahmer. Ange la Kupend a, Mrs . Martin (McComb) and Angela Stewart discussed from their own perspective how the movement affected them individually and how their experience helped mold the rest of their lives, and the leadership roles of Anne Moody, Annie Devine and Fannie Lou Hamer. Jason “PyInfamous” Thompson and Skipp Coon, both of whom are politically conscious musicians, taught the importance of music, such as freedom songs, within the struggle. Hollis Watkins, founder and president, Southern Echo, Inc., gave the participants an oral history of his struggle during the movement. And last, but certainly not least of all guest speakers, Rev. Ed King and Judge Mamie Chinn spoke about their roles in the movement and how they were affected by the movement for the rest of their lives. Like many of the programs and lectures hosted by the Hamer Institute, learning extends outside of the lecture room.

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On Friday, the participants had a chance to travel to the Medgar Evers International Airport—for many of the students, this was the first time. The airport was named after Evers in 2004 and officials have since worked on the Medgar Evers Pavilion, which includes photographs of Evers and other black leaders and walls inscribed with his words. Dirk B. Vanderleest, Chief Executive Officer of the Jackson Airport Authority, toured the outside premises of the Airport with the participants, explaining its rich history. Vanderleest then ate lunch with the participants and answered questions ranging from the salary of a commercial pilot to the number of crashes that have occurred. Overall, the participants enjoyed the experience of being in an airport and learning its daily operations. On Saturday, this same group of students along with parents, friends, faculty and staff participated in a “field-trip” to Canton, Mississippi. Through the experience of our guide, Mr. C.O. Chinn, the husband of Judge Mamie Chinn, the tour came to life. We explored the history of the Black Business district and discussed the importance of the Meredith March. This “March Against Fear” began on June 6, 1966. When they reached Canton, Mississippi, the march was attacked and tear-gassed by the Mississippi State Police, who were joined by other police agencies. Several marchers were wounded, one severely. Human Rights Medical Committee members conducted a house-to-house search that night looking for wounded marchers. The nuns of the Catholic school extended their help and hospitality to the

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marchers, especially to the wounded. The participants departed this weeklong interactive workshop with not just historical knowledge of the Jackson movement, but with the opportunity of meeting, communicating, and witnessing history for themselves. That is something that provokes pride not only in themselves but in their communities. The purpose of the workshop was to inspire young people to greatness, informing them of their capabilities, admonishing them with the concept best articulated by Carter G. Woodson “ no man knows what he can do, until he tries”.

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T EACHING A MERICAN H ISTORY : S UMMER 2011 Jeff Kolnick, Ph.D. - Historian, Southwest Minnesota State The Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on citizenship and Democracy has been in partnership with the Jackson Public School System on a Teaching American History (TAH) grant since 2008. The grant was just renewed for two more years in June. According to the US Department of Education, “the program is designed to raise student achievement by improving teachers' knowledge and understanding of and appreciation for traditional U.S. history.� Each year of the grant, Hamer Institute faculty have conducted four all day workshops during the school year on topics as varied as The New England Town, Slave Resistance, and Labor and the Constitution. Consistent themes in our workshops have been traditional political history, constitutional history, and an overall emphasis on the African American experience as the American experience. In each workshop we have mixed content with careful discussion on pedagogy, particularly focusing on the use of primary documents, careful and monitored use of visual and audio documents, and generally maintaining active learning in the teaching of American History at all grade levels. The TAH project, like so many of our programs, includes travel to relevant historic sites. So far we have had summer travel experiences south to Natchez and New Orleans and east to Selma, Montgomery, and Birmingham. A constant challenge has been reconciling the demands of high stakes testing with finding time to teach US history let alone allowing for a democratic form of pedagogy. The final three years of the TAH grant will bring veteran students from our Summer Youth Program in contact with our cohort of teachers to participate in sessions on great leaders from the African American experience and to work with teachers on pedagogy and presentations on lessons plans generated from the material covered that summer. We believe we are the only TAH grant in the nation that brings students and teachers into the same seminar and in doing so, we have fulfilled a long standing goal of the Hamer Institute while serving as a model for democratic curriculum development. This year we covered the period from just after the Constitution until the dawn of the 20th century. We had excellent presentations on the slave community and the Old South from Hamer Institute veteran faculty member Dr. David Dennard. David also helped us navigate through the personal transformation and individual reinvention of the

remarkable Soujourner Truth. Dr. Leslie McLemore held forth on the life of Frederick Douglass who lived through much of nineteenth century and emerged as the first nation-wide leader produced by the Black community. Dr. Michelle Deardorff presented on labor and the Constitution, carefully walking us through the a series of landmark cases and social history to help us understand the Conkling Doctrine and the notion of the constitutional protection of corporations, and the role of protectionist legislation in the provision of equality under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, the right to contract, and the notion of substantive due process. She also presented on the life of Ida B. Wells, focusing on political socialization and the range of tools available to those brave enough to challenge entrenched power. Jeff Kolnick made presentations on Immigration and Industrialization, picked up with the New South after Dr. Dennard finished with the Old, and discussed the complexity, significance of, and controversy that is Mr. Booker T Washington. This summer we were rewarded with excellent presentations by two long time pillars of the Hamer Institute, Dr. Frank Smith Jr. and Dr. Thandekili R. Mvusi. Dr. Smith mixed past and present with a powerful report of blacks during the Civil War that he tied into reflections on the Civil Rights Movement and the Afro-American Civil War Memorial and Museum, Washington, D.C.. Then, Dr. Mvusi, a Hamer Institute founding member, rocked the house with her presentation on Reconstruction. Dr. Mvusi set out the social, cultural and political challenges and opportunities represented by Reconstruction and put women in the spotlight. Workshop participants traveled to Birmingham, Alabama where we visited Old South and Civil Rights sites in Selma and Montgomery (The National Voting Rights Museum and the Civil War Museum in Selma and The Old State Capital area and the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery) and New South Civil Rights sites in Birmingham (The Sloss Furnaces and the Civil Rights Institute).

The Hamer Institute wishes to thank the new grant administrator Quita Ware. She played a central role in our renewal and created a powerful spirit of learning and community among the grant participants during this workshop.

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FROM FREEDOM SUMMER TO THE MEMPHIS SANITATION WORKERS’ STRIKE —Michelle M. Deardorff, Ph.D. Once again, this summer the Hamer Institute hosted two National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture workshops for community college faculty on “Landmarks of American Democracy: From Mississippi Freedom Summer to the Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike.” We had fifty enthusiastic summer scholars who represented the entire nation and a plethora of disciplines and interests. Our committed team of scholars, activists, and staff came back together and we welcomed two new graduate assistants. As always, it was an exciting event and exhausting for everyone (a good exhaustion, at the end of the day). The program followed our previous workshop syllabi in which we begin in Jackson with an examination of importance of this narrative and the notion of place. We were pleased that Charlie Cobb was able to join us as keynote speaker and oral history panelist for both weeks; the tone he set was invaluable. Dr. L.C. Dorsey’s discussion of her personal history within the larger framework of the Delta and oppression stimulated much debate—which the summer scholars referenced throughout the week. As always, Hollis Watkins’ contribution of song was a highlight for the participants, many took his cd back to their home campuses in order to engage another generation of citizens. Dr. Charles Payne and Dr. John Dittmer were as involved as always in the workshop and with the summer scholars, as always leaving the Hamer faculty to imagine the possibilities of the “Dream Team” co-leading these sessions. Every year, the oral history panels and the field trips to the different sites that we visit bring the highest praise from the participants. This year was no different. Charles McLaurin led the groups through the Delta masterfully and helped the summer scholars conceive of ways in which their local landmarks could be integrated into their current curriculum. Our oral history panel in Memphis, while not the same without the presence of Vasco Smith, wowed both weeks and resulted in long photo opportunities. Finally, we added a new component for this year. One of our Hamer faculty leaders—Dr. Emilye Crosby—

edited a new book entitled Civil Rights History From the Ground Up: Local Struggles, A National Movement, which featured such Hamer folks as: John Dittmer, Laurie Green, Charles McKinney, and Charles Payne, as well as Emilye herself. So during both weeks Hamer hosted a book signing for Emilye and Charles Payne and Emilye and Chuck McKinney—it was a great way to engage the local community with the current scholarship on Civil Rights. In the fall of 2010, we surveyed as many past participants in the Hamer/NEH Landmarks program for community college faculty that we could track over the last seven years. The results were exciting and invigorating. We had about a 28% response rate and of the respondents, 100% stated they found the workshop beneficial in the months/years after participation and 60% have maintained relationships formed in the program. As for the impact of the workshop: 48% noted greater knowledge integrated into courses; 25% mentioned new pedagogical resources; 23% have created or revised courses; and 23% claimed a personal identification with the places and people that they teach. Participants noted other consequences, such as: new pedagogical approaches, the significance of everyday people and their impact on democracy; significance of personal narratives; greater coverage of civil rights in their courses; and the creation or expansion of student travel to Mississippi. Especially in light of these exciting results, we are sorry to announce that the NEH has cancelled their Landmarks programs for community college faculty after the summer of 2012. Because we had decided to take a brief hiatus in 2012 to revamp the program, this past summer was our final Landmarks program. We are pleased to end the program on a high note, but disappointed not to translate our new discoveries into a new workshop in 2013. Please allow us to thank the dedicated Hamer family of visiting scholars, our Hamer staff, our oral history panelists, and our great friends and collaborators at Rhodes College. It has been a great run and all of you were key reasons we were one of NEH’s most successful Landmarks programs!

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T HE F ANNIE L OU H AMER I NSTITUTE Don’t Just Take OUR Word for It... “I was a participant on the NEH program last year (2nd week). This past week, I attended another NEH program. Let me just state, although the program this year was interesting, it DID NOT COMPARE to the program put on by the Hamer Institute. I am still amazed at how much I learned on your program, how much I have been transformed by the experience, and how much the experience has affected my teaching.” - Julie Davis, Instructor of History and Women’s Studies, Santa Ana College, 2010 NEH Landmarks Participant “Thanks so much for a wonderful, and very

informative, week!! I can hardly wait for school to start so I can tell my students about it.” -

Charlotte A. Meador, Lonestar Community College, 2011 Landmarks Participant “Thanks for the amazing experience. I'm redesigning my sabbatical plans to try to incorporate as much of the Hamer Family stuff as I can.” - Kari Fisher, Normandale Community College, 2011 Landmarks

“...I cannot express the "volumes" of information I consumed during this week. This ranks among the top of my academic experiences.” - Joyce C. Scott, Ph.D. Department Chair/Sociology Instructor, Hinds Community College

“The most important thing I learned from the program is that anybody can do anything, and it’s not impossible to do what you want.” - Frank Wright, 2010 Youth Workshop Participant

“Your university, staff, the Hamer Institute, and everyone I have met (there and since) have molded my education opportunities- making it more complete and allowing me to offer my students a better view of the world (and their role).” - Gary A. Hoog, Teacher, Pedro Menendez High


“The week exceeded all of my expectations, and it was an inspirational and exciting time. From the wonderful lectures to the personal testimonies, every aspect of the workshop was significant in renovating the way I think about and teach not only movement histories but also civil rights.” - Mary Mac Motley, 2011 Landmarks Participant

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LESLIE BURL MCLEMORE, PH.D. Director Leslie Burl McLemore, Ph.D., serves as the Director of the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy at Jackson State University. In 1997, Dr. McLemore and several colleagues formed the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy. The mission of the Hamer Institute is to engage primary and secondary schools systemically in the exploration of the Civil Rights Movement as it charts, fosters and expands the meanings of citizenship and democracy. The Hamer Institute has sponsored eleven very successful summer institutes for teachers and students on the Southern Civil Rights Movement. In the summer of 2006, Dr. McLemore and colleagues conducted a very successful one-week institute for middle and high school students on the Southern Civil Rights Movement entitled: “The Pivotal Role of Youth in the Southern Civil Rights Movement”. Dr. McLemore has an outstanding and distinguished record in Political Science as well as in Graduate Studies. Dr. McLemore served as Chair of the Council of the Graduate Schools Committee on Minority Graduate Education. He also chaired the Task Force on Minority Graduate Education of the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools. He has a keen interest in the issue of the under representation of minorities in graduate education. Dr. McLemore has played a leading role in the development of linkages and alliances between institutions of higher learning and major research institutions in this country during his tenure as Graduate Dean and Department Chair at Jackson State University. Dr. McLemore is often invited to speak to different groups and organizations in Mississippi and across the country. He has managed to combine his professional interest in Political Science with his abiding concern about the plight and direction of young people in America. McLemore has devoted a lot of his time to working with and mentoring young people. He is a President of the Jackson Chapter of the 100 Black Men of America. The 100 Black Men of Jackson are mentoring African American males in ten different public schools in Jackson. They range in ages nine to nineteen. Dr. McLemore is also the founding chair of the Youth Leadership Development program for middle school students in Jackson.

Dr. McLemore feels very

strongly that all of us should be actively involved in the lives of the youth in our communities. Professor McLemore is the author of several articles on Black Politics, the Civil Rights Movement and Environmental Politics. His most recent publications are “The Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy: Engaging a Curriculum and Pedagogy” with Michelle D. Deardorff, Jeffrey Kolnick, and Thandekile R.M. Mvusi.

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M ICHELLE D. D EARDORFF , P H .D. Professor of Political Science


ichelle D. Deardorff is Professor of Political Science at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi. She earned her Ph.D. from Miami University in 1993 where she studied political philosophy, political theory, and public law in the United States. A founding faculty member of the Hamer Institute, Michelle has been involved in almost all Hamer programming and grant writing since the earliest days in 1997. She has served as the Primary Investigator or Co-Investigator in the Landmarks programs, coordinated the Teaching American History project with the Jackson Public Schools, and is currently the PI of the Small Business Administration grant that has led to the completion of the COFO Education Center project and the Lynch Street Heritage Tourism project.

Dr. Deardorff’s teaching and research have focused on the constitutional and statutory protections surrounding gender, race, and religion; since coming to Jackson State she has also returned to her first love of political philosophy. Her research has been published in such journals as the Social Science Journal; the National Journal of Political Science; Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy; PS: Political Science and Politics; and, the Journal of Political Science Education, as well as in edited collections. She is currently completing a book entitled Equating Pregnancy that examines the lower federal courts’ interpretation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 in relationship to pregnancy protections in employment. In 2009, the American Political Science Association (APSA) published Assessment in Political Science, a primer on programmatic and classroom assessment within the discipline, co-edited by Deardorff, Kerstin Hamann, and John Ishiyama. Oxford University Press published in 2010 the two-volume set, Constitutional Law in Contemporary America, written by David Schultz, John R. Vile, and Deardorff. Prior to her relocation to Jackson State in 2003, Deardorff was the Griswold Distinguished Professor of Political Science, the chair of the Department of Political Science, and Acting Dean of Arts and Sciences at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. In the political science department at Jackson State, Michelle serves as the director of the MA program and as the pre-law advisor for the university. She has also been very engaged both in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) and in working with the American Political Science Association (APSA) in helping the discipline increase its commitment to teaching. She is a former chair of the Political Science Education Section of APSA and former editor of The Political Science Educator. Currently, she is on the steering committee for the APSA Distinguished Teaching Award, the Ad Hoc Assessment Working Group, serving a two-year term on the planning committee for the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, and was recently named chair of the APSA standing committee on Teaching and Learning for a three-year term.

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Historian Southwest Minnesota State University


eff Kolnick, a founding member of the Hamer Institute has been teaching history at Southwest Minnesota State University since 1992. He began his studies at Fullerton Community College where he became a historian under the patient guidance of Phil Snyder. Snyder introduced the teenage Kolnick to The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, a fateful event in his intellectual development. By the time he left FCC, Kolnick had developed an interest in African American history and environmental politics. Eventually he transferred to UCLA where he continued his studies in history and deepened his knowledge of African American history by working with Margaret Washington as an undergraduate and then a graduate student. While at UCLA, he developed a keen interest in labor history and his environmental politics morphed into a romantic focus on agricultural history. After receiving his MA in history and beginning his studies for a Ph.D., Kolnick transferred to UC Davis where he earned his Ph.D. by writing a social history of the farmer labor collations in Blue Earth County Minnesota at the end of the 19th century. At Davis, Kolnick learned something of Latin America from Arnold Bauer, really dove into labor and agriculture history with David Brody and Morton Rothstein, and continued his study of African American history under Clarence Walker and Daniel Calhoun who was Margaret Washington’s major professor when she attended UC Davis. In 1992, Kolnick secured a job at Southwest Minnesota State University and went from studying farmers to living among them. Shortly after receiving tenure, he was admitted to the famous NEH Institute on Teaching the History of the Southern Civil Rights Movement at Harvard University. Placed in the Labor and Community Organizing Group with the rest of the founding members of the Hamer Institute, his life has never been the same since. As a founding member of the Hamer Institute Kolnick has played a role in much of the work that has gone on, and in the early years, he was involved in almost everything. Kolnick had a hand in drafting all of the initial documents and participated in all of the early workshops and activities. After the departure of founding member Marty Bennett, Kolnick took on the role as the group’s main labor historian and he has presented on nexus of labor and civil rights in the lives of Walter Reuther and Dr. Martin Luther King. Over the years, Kolnick’s presentations have included topics such as Caribbean Slavery, Reconstruction, The West, The Revolution, The Civil War, Immigration and Industrialization, The Great Migration, Race and 19th Century America, and workshops on using primary documents. He has been a participant and helped to plan many Hamer Institute programs, including all forms of our workshops and the Hamer Lecture Series. He has played a role in writing several grants and has cooked numerous dinners for the team. Through the Hamer Institute, Kolnick took his first trip to Europe where he represented the institute at the Salzburg Seminar. There he met his bride, Rosa Tock in 1999. Indeed, it can be said with total confidence that the Hamer Institute has shaped and enhanced most of Kolnick’s professional career and mightily improved his personal life. In 1997, Kolnick entered into a partnership and with his colleagues, Leslie McLemore, Michelle Deardorff, and Thandi Mvusi. Since that time he has been allowed to help shape an institution that has done some good by sharing the story of how ordinary people who commit to struggle can change the world if they work together in a spirit of love and creative, thoughtful, discipline. It has been a privilege and it remains quite a ride.

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D APHNE R. C HAMBERLAIN , P H .D. Research Fellow DR. DAPHNE R. CHAMBERLAIN has been a part of the Hamer Institute family since 2007 when she, as a graduate student, accepted an invitation to present at the 24th Annual Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Symposium. Since that time, Chamberlain has worked with the Hamer Institute’s Youth Summer Workshops, NEH Landmarks of American Democracy, and the Medgar Evers/Ella Baker Lecture Series. After completing a Visiting Assistant Professorship in History and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi in May 2010, Dr. Daphne Chamberlain was named the first research fellow for the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship & Democracy at Jackson State University for the 2010-2011 academic year. During that time, Chamberlain has served as the Project Director for the COFO Civil Rights Education Center, where she has played an integral role in the development of the historic COFO building, located at 1017 John R. Lynch Street. Working to create an enriching learning environment and experience that is available to the public, Chamberlain has built a network that has attracted visits from various schools across the state of Mississippi to local organizations, like the Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, the Perkins Foundation, and the Institute of Southern Jewish Life. During her tenure as COFO Project Director, she has also developed a relationship with the Children’s Defense Fund, which with the permission of Oleta Garrett Fitzgerald, offered its traveling exhibit “Just Stand, Anyhow!” to be placed on display. Chamberlain recently entered another phase of the COFO project. The inaugural exhibit, “The Nerve Center,” will be on the Council of Federated Organizations and its role in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement. As a multifunctional facility, the COFO Center will not only consist of the exhibit/ lecture hall, but it will have a conference space, a lounge, and a souvenir shop called “The Corner.” As the Center continues to take shape, the COFO experience will be one that engages visitors through interactive learning, gives visitors the

Hamer Happenings

opportunity to reach out and “touch history” through meaningful dialogue with civil rights veterans, and inspires civic responsibility and activism. Chamberlain has also been instrumental in advancing the Lynch Street initiative through her documentation (e.g., banners and brochures) of the rich civil rights history found in the community that surrounds Jackson State University. Although she has taken a brief sabbatical from the classroom, Chamberlain continues to be a part of the learning community by teaching diverse groups of people who visit the COFO Center. Additionally, she has continued to engage in scholarly work, writing journal articles and book reviews and encyclopedia entries, serving as a guest lecturer at several universities and presenting at academic conferences and workshops. During the week of May 21 -26, 2011, working with Freedom Rider Lewis Zuchman and Youth Leadership Summit Chair Albert Sykes, Chamberlain also served as the Event Coordinator for the Freedom Riders’ 50th Anniversary Reunion Youth Leadership Summit. In the spring of 2011, Chamberlain was charged with the task of serving as the coordinator for the 28th Annual Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Symposium on October 5-6, 2011. Daphne Chamberlain received the B.A. in History from Tougaloo College, and the M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Mississippi. Her dissertation, titled “‘And a Child Shall Lead the Way’: Children’s Participation in the Jackson, Mississippi, Black Freedom Struggle, 1946-1970,” highlights the role of children between the ages of 7 and 18 in the Jackson Movement and examines their activism and leadership during the civil rights era. Chamberlain’s area of specialization is 20th-century U.S. History, with emphasis on the African American experience and the Civil Rights era. In the spirit of giving a voice to marginalized grassroots activists and telling the civil rights narrative from the bottom-up, her works in progress include a co-authored biography on Mrs. A.M.E. Logan, a civil rights heroine in Jackson, Mississippi, and a movement study on the confluence of local politics and the local economy in rural Hinds County, Mississippi, and how relations among the community’s black residents were strained by economic protest. Chamberlain is currently converting her dissertation into a book manuscript, has forthcoming short essays on civil rights-related topics, and has presented widely on youth activism in Mississippi during the civil rights era.

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M S . L ATOSHA G ARRETT Administrative Assistant/ Program Coordinator


atosha Garrett has served as an administrative assistant and Program Coordinator for the Hamer Institute since January 2008 after transferring from the Department of Biology at Jackson State University. Over the years, Ms. Garrett has become the backbone of the Hamer Institute, managing day-to-day operations, coordinating annual workshops, assisting with programming, and attending to the fiscal affairs of the Hamer Institute. Ms. Garrett has played a vital role in organizing the Hamer Institute’s Youth Summer Workshops and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Landmarks of American Democracy workshops, both in which she has also assumed recruitment responsibilities. In addition to these annual workshops, Ms. Garrett has served as a liaison between the Hamer Institute and several community colleges that have sought to develop a long-term relationship with the organization. She has coordinated civil rights tours from Jackson to the Mississippi Delta and on to Memphis for schools such as Solano Community College in California, Alameda County (CA) School System, and Augsburg College in Minnesota. According to Michael Lansing, a history professor at Augsburg College, his students learned a great deal from their traveling civil rights tour experience coordinated by Ms. Garrett. He went on to state that “…enthusiasm for social justice is contagious and [the students] need to see others with it.”

“enthusiasm for social justice is contagious” - Michael

Garrett’s role with the Hamer Institute continues to grow. She has also played an important part in the development of the COFO Civil Rights Education Center. Since January 2011, she has taken the responsibility of handling the budget for this project as well. Prior to joining the Jackson State University staff, Ms. Garrett was a paralegal for nearly 6 years at the law firms of Miller & Hamer, P.A., Markow, Walker & Dockins, and Turnage & Banks. Although she attended Hinds Community College for paralegal studies, Ms. Garrett has taken an interest in social work and childcare reform and plans to continue her education in the very near future. Ms. Latosha Garrett is the mother of two beautiful children, Takelia, 16, and Terrance, Jr., 6.

Lansing, History Professor, Augsburg College

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LAMONT MCMILLIAN joined the Hamer Institute in the summer of 2008. He is currently the Project Coordinator where he facilitates the coordination of the Medgar Evers/ Ella Baker Civil Rights Lecture Series and the Hamer Humanitarian Awards Luncheon. As a Project Coordinator, McMillian serves as a logistical liaison, providing logistics management in event coordination, technical and program support (audio and video), public relations, social media and print marketing (flyers, programs & brochures). Working to build productive relationships throughout the Jackson State community, McMillian provides support to the Margaret Walker Center and the Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement during conferences, programs and lecture series. EITH

During the week of May 22-26, 2011, McMillian served as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Mississippi 50th Freedom Riders Reunion where he strategically organized nearly ninety volunteers in which he coached and trained during a Volunteer Orientation on registration processes, hosting and other logistical areas of hospitality. The volunteers’ presence created a lasting impression for the Freedom Riders and their families during this activity-filled five-day event. McMillian has been involved in several history making projects while at the Hamer institute. In 2009, he helped to organize the Medgar Evers/ Fannie Lou Hamer Commemorative Stamp Ceremony. In the summer of 2010, McMillian contributed to the success of the NBC Learn Project: Finishing the Dream Town Hall Meeting which brought together movement veterans, community activists, religious leaders and educators to engage local high school and college students on the historical significance of the Civil Rights Struggle. After having been filmed and digitized, Jackson State University is currently using this digital resource as a teaching tool through instructional technology. Prior to joining Jackson State University, McMillian was a team manager with Cingular Wireless (now AT&T Wireless) for nearly eight years where he was Recent News responsible for managing a staff of 15 to 25 Customer Support professionals. Through performance coaching, development • Served as the Volunteer training, guidance and motivation, his teams consistently met or Coordinator for the exceeded call center expectations. Nicole Little, IMC Specialist, Mississippi 5 0 t h ATT Wireless, says, “He creates win-win situations – he should Freedom Foundation be placed on the watch list for his leadership ability.” Return of the Freedom R i d e r s 5 0 t h Keith Lamont McMillian holds a Master of Arts degree in Political Anniversary Reunion Science and a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional • Completed the Strategic Grant Development Interdisciplinary Studies - both from Jackson State University. He is an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Writing Workshop • Completed the NBC Alpha Epsilon Lambda Chapter in Jackson, Mississippi. Learn Training at The Jackson State University Faculty Development Center

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MR. BYRON CRAIG WILLIAMS, JR. Graduate Assistant (2010-2011) BYRON CRAIG WILLIAMS, JR. was the Graduate Assistant at the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy from June 2010 until May 2011. Byron played in integral part in program planning and implementation while at the Hamer Institute. He was involved with all programs, including the Southern Civil Rights Movement: The Pivotal Role of Young People, (Summer Youth Workshop), the Teach American History workshop for Jackson Public School Teachers, Landmarks of American Democracy: From Freedom Summer to the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike, the Medgar Evers/ Ella Baker Lecture Series, the Annual Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Symposium and the Annual Fannie Lou Hamer Humanitarian Awards Luncheon. Byron, along with Dr. Daphne Chamberlain, was also involved with the Youth Leadership Summit Program Planning Committee for the Mississippi Freedom 50th Anniversary of the Mississippi Freedom Riders. He helped to coordinate and facilitate events for more than 275 young people from across the United States including New York, Mississippi and Tennessee. Byron graduated from Jackson State University in May 2011 with a Master of Arts in Political Science. Prior to attending Jackson State, Byron earned his undergraduate degree in Exercise Science from Auburn University. While at Auburn, Byron was a walk-on member of the Auburn University Football Team, involved with the Auburn University Theatre Department, and volunteered in the Physical Therapy Department at East Alabama Medical Center’s Outpatient Clinic. Byron is currently a first year law student at the University of New Mexico School of Law in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He recently completed the Pre-Law Summer Institute at the American Indian Law Center, and is an alumnus of the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. A lifelong resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, Byron is an enrolled member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, watching sports, exercising, and analyzing politics. He is currently undecided in what type of law he wants to practice, but will use the lessons he learned at the Hamer Institute to continue to work towards the Hamer Institute’s pursuit of social justice.

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JA’LISA L. JORDEN 2011-2012 Graduate Assistant

The Hamer Institute’s fervent commitment to civic duty is it’s strongest attribute” Micheal Morris, 2011-2012 Graduate Assistant

Ja’Lisa L. Jorden is a Graduate Assistant at the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy. She has been involved with institute programs including the Southern Civil Rights Movement: The Pivotal Role of Young People, The Teach American History Workshop for JPS teachers, Landmarks of American Democracy: From Freedom Summer to the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike, and The 50th anniversary of the Mississippi Freedom Riders. Prior to Working with the Hamer Institute, Ja’Lisa served as the graduate assistant for Dr. Daphne Chamberlain and the COFO project. Ja’Lisa graduated from Jackson State University with a Bachelors in Political Science with a

Legal Studies concentration. She continues her education at Jackson State pursuing a Masters degree in Political Science. She plans to combine her love for social justice and her political science background to create a non profit organization helping ex convicts reassimilate themselves into society. Ja’Lisa’s current research interest focuses on the ailments facing the black community and it’s possible solution. Studies include internalized racism, symbolic racism, structural barriers, and media affects on youth. Born and Raised in Waukegan Illinois, Ja’Lisa relocated to Jackson Mississippi in 2006.

MICHAEL MORRIS 2011-2012 Graduate Assistant Michael Morris is a first-year graduate student of political science at Jackson State University. In May, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from Jackson State University. As an undergraduate, Michael has served as the VicePresident of the History Club, the President of the Student Advisory Committee, and as an ambassador in the annual Model United Nations forum. A proud native of Jackson, Mississippi, he is passionate about his community and is serving as a mentor in the Talks Program of the John Perkins Foundation for Community Development and has served as a past housing

manager. Just after graduating, he traveled with middle school students from the John Perkins Foundation as a chaperon touring New York City. These students were chosen to visit the great city partly because of their high scholastic achievement and improved behavior during the school year. Michael began his summer with the Hamer Institute volunteering with the Mississippi Freedom 50th Anniversary. Michael has enjoyed his time thus far with the Hamer Institute, working with the summer JPS Workshops and the NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture: From Freedom Summer to The Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike programs. He points to the Hamer Institute’s fervent commitment to civic duty as its strongest attribute.

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COFO Civil Rights Education Center “A Testament to Mississippi's Civil Rights Past, Present, and Future"

“My recent experience [at the COFO Civil Rights Education Center] was convicting and encouraging. It is a strong witness to the fact that justice is not the work of one person, or a few, but something to which we are all called.” David Cathcart, North Carolina June 28, 2011

“I was blown away from the information that I received during my visit. The COFO Center is one place that everyone needs to visit while in Jackson, Mississippi.” Jamea AdamsGinyard, Jackson State University August 16, 2011

The COFO Civil Rights Education Center is open to educate the public on Mississippi's civil rights history. The COFO building, which was considered to be the “nerve center” of the Mississippi freedom struggle, is located on the historic Lynch Street Civil Rights Corridor. The building has a rich history that speaks to the African American experience and race relations in the most segregated state in the South during the most turbulent period in American history, and we are dedicated to maintaining the historical integrity of the site and the surrounding community.

heightened our visibility, and we look forward to our continued growth and development.

Since opening in January 2011, the COFO Center has hosted groups from Jackson to Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Washington, D.C., to name a few. The Center has opened its doors to the Hamer Institute and the Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement on numerous occasions. On April 30, 2011, the Center was joined by the Hamer Institute and the Jackson State University chapter of the NAACP to celebrate its first COFO Freedom Day, where the community had an opportunity to view the exhibits, register to vote, and become members of the NAACP. On May 26, 2011, the Center welcomed the Freedom Riders back to Jackson during the week of the 50th Anniversary Reunion, as they and their families toured this historic site. We are pleased with the tremendous support we have received over the past few months, which has

Currently on exhibit is “Celebrating the Jackson Movement,” a pictorial history of the civil rights struggle in the capital city from 1961 to 1963. Also on display is the traveling exhibit “Just Stand, Anyhow!” Courtesy of the Children’s Defense Fund and the Southern Black Women’s Initiative, this exhibit showcases the 2005 Mississippi Inductees of the Southern Rural Black Women’s Hall of Fame. Both exhibits are FREE to the public.

Although we are committed to preserving the past, one of our missions is to challenge and cultivate, inquiring young minds and foster the development of future leaders and community builders. We have a huge task ahead of us in moving the Center forward so that it honors the past, deals with issues of the present, and offers hope for the future. As we work to further develop the COFO Civil Rights Education Center, it is our hope that our visitors are empowered through this enriching experience.

Daphne R. Chamberlain Project Director Jackson State University 1017 John R. Lynch Street Jackson, MS 39217 Phone: 601.979.4348 Phone: 601.979.4292 Email: Operating hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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“Righteousness exalts a nation; hate just makes people miserable.” ~ Fannie Lou Hamer


1400 John Roy Lynch Street P.O. Box 17081 Jackson, Mississippi 39212 Phone: 601-979-1562 Fax: 601-979-5926 E-mail: www.JSUMS.EDU/ Hamer.Institute

September 27, 2011 The Reading Community “They Say”: Ida B. Wells and the Reconstruction of Race ( New Narratives in American History) by James West Davidson Java City Café (H.T. Sampson Library) 6:00 p.m. October 5-6, 2011 28th Annual Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Symposium Lecture Series “We Are Not Afraid”: Youth Activism and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle Jackson State University & Tougaloo College Jackson, Mississippi 601-979-1562


October 20, 2011 Medgar Evers/ Ella Baker Civil Rights Lecture Series Child Poverty in Mississippi and Its Implications Dollye M.E. Robinson Liberal Arts Bldg Jackson State University Jackson, Mississippi 6:30 pm 601-979-1563 November 9, 2011 Medgar Evers/ Ella Baker Civil Rights Lecture Series Robert Clark Symposium Election Day Implication and Analysis New Student Center – Theater Room 6:30 p.m. Jackson State University Jackson, Mississippi 601-979-1563 November 10, 2011 The Reading Community Think and Grow Rich by Dennis Kimbro and Napoleon Hill Java City Café (H.T. Sampson Library) 6:00 p.m.

If you have any questions, comments or desire further information on any of our past, present or future events/ workshops, Please feel free to contact The Hamer Institute

Contact Us

601-979-1562 (office) 601-979-5926 (fax) or Visit our Website at:

Ms. Latosha A. Garrett Editor in Chief Mr. Keith Lamont McMillian Co-Editor in Chief

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Fall 2011 Edition of the Fannie Lou Hamer Newsletter

Fall 2011 Hamer Happenings  

Fall 2011 Edition of the Fannie Lou Hamer Newsletter