Council of Federated Organizations

The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO (Council of Federated Organizations) is a human and civil rights interdisciplinary education center.  It is responsible for keeping the memory and energy of the movement alive through public exhibitions, educational programs, and community outreach primarily in central Mississippi.  We are located on the campus of Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, in the historic the Lynch Street Corridor district, which was a beehive of activity for the Mississippi civil rights movement.  The building is on the national register of historic places and once housed the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), the umbrella organization for civil rights organizations working in Mississippi during the mid 1960s.  COFO’s headquarters were located at 1017 J.R. Lynch Street and served as the main office for the Mississippi Movement from 1963 to 1965.  The COFO Civil Rights Education Center opened in 2011 in the same building that housed the original COFO umbrella organization.  Since its opening, the Center has spearheaded a number of community outreach programs involving youth, presented exhibitions, and conducted dozens of educational tours to local Mississippians, as well as international visitors.  In an effort to expand its reach and secure a permanent home, the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute merged with the COFO Civil Rights Education Center on the campus of Jackson State University in the Fall of 2013.  The merger of the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute on Citizenship and Democracy and the COFO Civil Rights Education Center has fostered a greater interest in social justice and human rights which has led to an array of interdisciplinary programs and activities for the campus community and beyond.

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