The Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy will recognize the founders of the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute during the 2017 Fannie Lou Hamer Humanitarian Awards Luncheon to be held Thursday, April 20, 2017. 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.

The founding members of the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy are a coalition of academics who promote civic engagement and popular sovereignty through the study of the struggle for civil rights in the United States.

To be honored are: Mr. Martin Bennett, Instructor Emeritus of American history at Santa Rosa Junior College where he has taught for twenty-five years; Dr. Michelle D. Deardorff, Professor and Department Head, Political Science & Public Service at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga; Dr. Jeffrey Kolnick, Professor of History at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota; Dr. Leslie Burl McLemore, a veteran of the Southern Civil Rights Movement; and Dr. Thandekile Ruth Mason Mvusi, founder and CEO of the History Lesson Project,

In recognition of 20 years of service, The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute will also be recognized. Founded in 1997, the mission of the Hamer Institute is to promote positive social change by examining the tools and experiences of those who struggle to create, expand, and sustain civil rights, social justice, and citizenship. Named in honor of Fannie Lou Hamer, a Mississippi civil rights leader who was instrumental in forming the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, the Institute’s vision is to nurture a generation of young people engaged in and committed to discourse on civil rights, social justice, and citizenship.

For more information and to make online purchases, please visit:

Or contact the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO at 601-979-1563 or 601-979-4348 or email:



Miss Black Mississippi USA and The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO will host a forum:  “Saving Our Girls.” This will be an event for middle and high school girls and their mothers. The panel for this discussion have a vested interest in helping young women become effective leaders, build a higher self-esteem and develop self-worth. 

Saving Our Girls

Young Women Empowerment Panel Discussion



Kristy Johnson, Miss Black Mississippi USA 2017


KP, Spoken Word Artist

Panel Members

Carol Penick, Executive Director Women's Foundation of Mississippi

Mary Williams, Perrls of Wellness Founder

Jakryannee Phillips, Mass Communications Major at Tougaloo College

Valencia Robinson, Mississippi in Action

Beauty Demonstration

Melody Washington, Natural U Salon

Guest Speaker

Carlyn Hicks, Director of Child Welfare and Family Justice at Mississippi College  

Monday, ​November 28, 2016

Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO

1017 John R. Lynch Street, Jackson, MS 39212


This event is FREE and Open to the public


Hamer Institute @ COFO Program and Event Survey

November 7th, 2016 by fannielou

Dear friends of the Hamer Institute @ COFO: 

Please take the time to complete the following survey regarding your most recent visit to the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO. 

Feedback on your experience is a vital part of ensuring that the programs and events hosted by our institute is as effective as possible.  Please click the link below and share your thoughts on the various aspects of our programming and/or events.  

Remember, your feedback is extremely valuable, so please let us know what you really think.    

Click here to access the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO Program/ Event Survey



Parent Town Hall Discussion

November 4th, 2016 by fannielou

Miss Black Mississippi USA, 2017

The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO 

The Institute for Social Justice and Race Relations

Will host a

Parent Town Hall

Miss Black Mississippi USA, 2017, The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO and the Institute for Social Justice and Race Relations will host a Parent Town Hall Discussion on Thursday November 10, 2016, at 6:00 p.m.. Recently, the Mississippi Department of Education cited Jackson Public Schools for violating 22 of its 32 accreditation standards, including high school graduates not meeting state standards, numerous fights, late-running buses, unsafe buildings, unqualified teachers and a problem with disciplinary decisions by principals. In Jackson communities, violent crime is at 80 on a scale from 1 to 100. Property crime is at 81. What role can parents and community members play to become change agents for our communities?  This Town Hall will be an open event for parents to discuss with Jackson Public School officials, City Administrators, and Law Enforcement how to alleviate the issues of our school districts and communities.

Join us on Thursday, November 10, 2016 at 6:00 pm at The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO  at 1017 John R. Lynch Street, Jackson, MS 39217.

The evening event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, visit: or contact

The Hamer Institute @ COFO; 601-979-1563 or 601-979-4348

or email:



Film Screening – “The 30th of May”

November 3rd, 2016 by fannielou

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 6:00 p.m., The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO will host a film screening of “The 30th of May.” For over 100 years, the city of Natchez had two Memorial Day celebrations—one black and one white. By the mid-1990's, the white celebration faded away, while the black celebration known as the "30th of May" continued to march on.  Virtually unknown outside of the region, this annual event is passed down from generation to generation giving evidence that the roots of patriotism run deep in the Mississippi River towns of Vidalia, Louisiana and Natchez, Mississippi. 

Using animation, archival and aerial footage, and interviews with veterans, organizers and participants, the "30th of May" documentary brings to life the remarkable untold story of this African American-led patriotic tradition in the Deep South. It's a tradition like no other on the country. 


The Fannie Lou Hamer Pre-Law Society will present its 2016 Fall Lecture on Friday, October 14, 2016 at 11:30 am. This event will be held at the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO located at 1017 John R. Lynch Street, Jackson, MS 39217. 

The Fannie Lou Hamer Pre-Law Society (The Society) is the service arm of the pre-law program and furthers student interest in the law through activities and events designed to educate and empower.

The Society introduced the Lecture Series events as a means by which students interested in attending law school could obtain practical knowledge and information directly from licensed, practicing attorneys. The members expressed particular interest in inviting speakers who are JSU and/or HBCU graduates and who may practice law in non-traditional settings. The bi-semester events are hosted pre-lunch time on Fridays and open to the entire JSU and Metro-Jackson legal communities. 

The theme for the fall 2016 Lecture Series Event is Honoring Black Cultural Unity: From HBCU to Law School & Beyond. The Event speakers are Attorneys Johnnie McDaniels, Executive Director of the Henley-Young Juvenile Justice Center; Trent Walker, Civil and Criminal Litigator; and Amorya Orr, Forman Watkins & Krutz Law Firm with introductory comments by Hinds County Circuit Clerk Zack Wallace.  


On Thursday, October 6, 2016, the Hamer Institute will partner with the Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden and Museum Foundation in celebrating the 99th birthday of Fannie Lou Hamer in Ruleville, MS. Fannie Lou Hamer was a civil rights leader who was born and raised in Mississippi and was instrumental in forming the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and leading the MFDP delegates to challenge the all-white Mississippi delegation at the 1964 National Convention held in Atlantic City.  In recognition of this great civil rights icon, the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO will begin celebrating and commemorating the centennial of Fannie Lou Hamer through a series of programming and exhibitions beginning in January 2017. Please stay tuned… 

On Wednesday, October 5, 2016 at 10:00 am, The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO will unveil a COFO freedom trail marker. The Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) has been awarded a historic designation on the Mississippi Freedom Trail.  The Mississippi Freedom Trails program is a program of Visit Mississippi (Mississippi Development Authority/Division of Tourism) that celebrates and honors sites in the state of Mississippi that hold historical significance.  This is a special honor for Jackson State University because it will be one of a few institutions serving as the home to two markers. 

As one of the most visible programs of the Mississippi Historical Commission (MHC), historical markers commemorate diverse topics, including the history and architecture of houses, commercial and public buildings, religious congregations, and military sites.  The program also honors events that changed the course of local and state history and individuals who contributed to our state, community organizations, and businesses.  The COFO Building is on the national register of historic places; COFO served as the umbrella organization for civil rights organizations working in Mississippi during the mid-1960s. It’s headquarters located at 1017 John R. Lynch Street was the location of the office for the Mississippi Movement from 1963 to 1965.  “Jackson State University committed to saving this national treasure from dilapidation, renovated the interior and exterior, and re- opened the COFO Building in 2011 as a Civil Rights Education Center, symbolizing the university's commitment to historic preservation.” – Dr. Rico D. Chapman, Director, Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO, Human & Civil Rights Education Center


On Wednesday, September 24, 2016, at 1:00 pm, in the Dollye M.E. Robinson Liberal Arts Building, room 166/266,  the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute and the Department of History and Philosophy will host an Authors Book Talk featuring Ibram X. Kendi and his book, Stamped From the Beginning.

Young black men are 21 times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts. The unemployment rate for African Americans has been double that of whites for more than half a century. Award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues in STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, that if we have any hope of grappling with this stark reality, we must first understand how racist ideas were developed, disseminated, and enshrined in American society.stamped-from-the-beginning-book-talk-jsu8-11

The historic significance of the newest and 19th Smithsonian museum – and its importance to all Americans – will make this GRAND OPENING an unprecedented local, national and international event unlike any other opening of a cultural institution in America or globally in recent history. Across the country and around the world, watch parties and other signature events are being organized by local museums, individuals or corporations as co-celebrants with the NMAAHC Grand Opening. 

Please join

The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO


the NMAAHC Grand Opening Watch Party

 Saturday, September 24, 2016nmaahc-grand-opening



1017 John R. Lynch Street

Jackson, MS 39217

Breakfast will be provided.