Civil Rights Landmarks

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Hamer Humanitarian Award Luncheon

The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO will recognize six agents of change during the 2014 Fannie Lou Hamer Humanitarian Awards Luncheon to be held Friday, April 4, 2014.  The honorees will receive 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.

To be honored are Dr. Beverly Hogan, the first woman president of the Historic Tougaloo College.  An effective and committed leader, she served as the Commissioner for the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission, the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Federal State Programs and the Executive Director of the Mental Health Association in Hinds County and the state of Mississippi, respectively.   The Hamer Institute will also honor Attorney Derrick Johnson, State President for the Mississippi State Conference NAACP.  Mr. Johnson successfully managed the Jackson Public School District bond referendum campaign that brought $150 million in renovations and new schools to the Jackson area. A champion for “Human Rights for Human Beings,” the Honorable Mayor of Jackson, Chokwe Lumumba will also be recognized as a Hamer Award recipient.  Mayor Lumumba was instrumental in the release of the Scott Sisters in 2011 who had served 16 years of double life prison sentences for an $11.00 (eleven-dollar) robbery which they did not commit.  The Hamer Institute is also recognizing Mr. Albert Sykes, Director of Advocacy and Policy for the Young People’s Project (YPP).  A 15-year veteran of YPP/The Algebra Project, Mr. Sykes advocates for policies such as Quality Education is a Constitutional Right and works in conjunction with many organizations including the NAACP, where he is a member of the Statewide Education Committee, and the Wisdom Foundation and serves as the board president.  Mr. Jessie Harris,  also  an honoree,  worked on voter registration campaigns around Mississippi in the early sixties, especially in the Delta region. In 1964, he helped train Freedom Summer Volunteers before they came to Mississippi, and managed the volunteers in and around the McComb area. The Hamer Institute will also recognize Jed Oppenheim. He was recently appointed to the Jackson Public School District (JPS) Board of Trustees, where he works to ensure all youth in the community have access to high quality K-12 education. Formerly a Senior Advocate for Mississippi Initiatives with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Mr. Oppenheim assisted in organizing campaigns that addressed harsh discipline practices pushing children out of Mississippi’s public schools. His work also included campaigns that addressed unconstitutional conditions in the state’s juvenile detention facilities. As an advocate, he worked with students and parents throughout Mississippi to address their concerns and needs. 

The Hamer Institute is honored to be able to recognize these special agents of change 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.

Tickets are on sale now. 

$35.00/ Person or $250.00/ Table of 8


Click Below to Download Registration Form

Come let us recognize our fellow citizens, on Friday, April 4, 2014 on the campus of Jackson State University.  For more information, visit our website at: or feel free to contact the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO at 601-979-1562 or 601-979- 4348 or email:


Press Release Poster 2014