Madison Symposium 2016

A Memorial Symposium on Higher Education -The 24 Year-old Odyssey of the Ayers Litigation: In Remembrance of Attorney Isaiah T. Madison

The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO and The Institute for Social Justice and Race Relations invites you to participate in a symposium established to honor the memory and work of the late Attorney Isaiah T. Madison. He used his legal training to attack issues of injustice and oppression in this country and beyond.  The program will concentrate on his role in the Ayers case and will highlight the major work he has done to elevate the poor and neglected in our society. 

11:30 am – 12:50 pm – Round Table Discussion – The Funding of Black and White Colleges in Mississippi: Ayers v Mabus (1991)

1:00 pm – 2:20 pm – Higher Education Funding: Separate and Unequal

6:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Closing Reception

This event will take place on the campus of Jackson State University. Visit: for more details or call 601-979-1563.


James Meredith

The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO and The Institute for Social Justice and Race Relations


The JSU Reading Community Book Talk


Meredith Coleman McGee discussing her book:

James Meredith: Warrior and the America That Created Him

James Meredith is a civil rights icon who took on the U.S. federal government and forced it to take a stand on whether African Americans were entitled to receive higher education at the same schools as whites. The book examines Meredith's early life, his actions that resulted in the integration of the University of Mississippi, his 1966 "March Against Fear," during which he was shot by a shotgun-wielding sniper, and voting rights stories from the civil rights era.

Please join us on Tuesday, February 9, 2016, at 6:00 pm at the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO located at 1017 John R. Lynch Street, Jackson, MS 39217.

For more information, please visit: or call 601-979-1563

Jackson State University, College of Liberal Arts, The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO, and The Margaret Walker Center


Alysia Burton Steele

Author of

 Delta Jewels:

In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom

The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO and the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University will host Alysia Burton Steele on Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 6:00 pm. Steele is the author of Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom, a book of oral histories and portraits of over 50 African American church mothers from the Mississippi Delta, including civil rights icon Myrlie Evers-Williams. The book has received national media coverage, including The New York Times, NBC, National Public Radio, USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times, Southern Living, Essence and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area recently forged the “Delta Jewels Oral History Partnership” with Alysia Burton Steele, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism professor at the University of Mississippi. The partnership will provide opportunities for MDNHA and The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University to present oral history programs and workshops with regional, statewide and national organizations. The partnership is designed to make oral history education and awareness accessible to diverse communities, as well as to promote Mississippi Delta culture and history on a broader scale.

The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO and the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University will be the second to host an oral history program under this new partnership.

Please join us on Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 6:00 at the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO located at 1017 John R. Lynch Street, Jackson, MS 39217.

Reception to follow.


For more information, please contact The Hamer Institute @ COFO

Visit us online:

601-979-1563 or 601-979-4348



Alysia Steele Burton

The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO

Presents the 32nd Annual Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Symposium:

“Nobody’s Free Until Everybody’s Free”

 Policing and Racism in America

Well you might kill me today, but I’m innocent, I’m not guilty, and I will never say I’m guilty.” (Fannie Lou Hamer, Speech at Loop College, 1970). In the 1960’s, police interaction precipitated many of the race riots that plagued urban America. Today, while belief in equal justice stands as a preeminent political tenet of American society, abiding skepticism exists among many racial and ethnic minorities.  Their mistrust is not surprising given the history of differential treatment in the system of criminal justice and police conduct.



Wednesday, October 28, 2015; 6:00 p.m.


Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO, 1017 John R. Lynch Street, Jackson, MS 39217


Special Guest

Ms. Jasmine Jackson, Moderator, Political Science Student, Jackson State University

Mr. Jimmy L. Bell, Professor, Criminal Justice and Sociology, Jackson State University

Mr. Antar Lumumba, Attorney and Activist, Jackson, Mississippi

Dr. Leniece T. Smith-Davis, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Jackson State University


For more information, please contact The Hamer Institute @ COFO

601-979-1563 or 601-979-4348


FLH 32nd Memorial Symposium

So You Want to Go to Law School

October 8th, 2015 by fannielou

So you want to go to law school

The College of Liberal Arts, Department of Psychology, Institute for Social Justice and Race Relations, and The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO partners to bring this HOT TOPIC Tuesday discussion: Depression, Suicide, and Mental Illness: Breaking the Myths in the Black Community. 

Depression, Suicide, and Mental Illness are often seen as myths in the Black community. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, major depressive disorder is "one of the most common mental disorders in the United States."  This discussion is designed to spark a community dialogue on how to decrease stigmatization and increase support for those in need of mental health care. 

Special Guests Include:

Dr. Kearns-Cooper, Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology and Faculty Co-advisor for the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) Student Circle at JSU;Dr. Juliette Schweitzer, Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology and Faculty Co-advisor for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Club on Campus at JSU; Ms. Alexis Davis, Second-Year Clinical Doctoral Trainee in the Clinical Psychology Graduate Program as well as Founding President and Charter Member of the ABPsi Student Circle at JSU;  and,  Ms. Katharine A. McIntyre, Fourth-Year Clinical Doctoral Trainee in the Clinical Psychology Graduate Program at JSU

Hot topic tuesday - Depression Suicide and Mental Illness

Hamer Institute @ COFO Program and Event Survey

April 10th, 2015 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.    

Follow this link to the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO Program/ Event Survey:


An Evening with Judge Carlton Reeves

April 2nd, 2015 by fannielou

In response to the continuing denial of the right to vote and the shooting death of local protestor Jimmy Lee Jackson in February, 1965, citizens from Dallas County, Alabama and SNCC and SCLC activists scheduled a protest march from Selma to Montgomery for March 7th. On Sunday, March 7, 1965, as protesters crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, they were met with resistance and blocked by Alabama State troopers and local police. The protesters were ordered to turn around; when they refused, they were met with teargas and beaten savagely and violently. Because of the televised brutality, the day was referred to as “Bloody Sunday.” Although President Lyndon Johnson had signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 just months before, the ultimate march from Selma to Montgomery on March 21st was instrumental in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The 50th Commemoration of the march in Selma Alabama provided the impetus to host an evening with Judge Carlton Reeves on Tuesday, April 7th, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO. During this evening, Judge Carlton Reeves will engage the community in a dialogue regarding the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and his recent sentencing of the defendants responsible for the death of James Anderson in 2011. In conjunction with Judge Reeves' comments, there will also be a panel of students to discuss the College of Liberal Arts sojourn to Birmingham in 2013 through this year's travel to Selma, Alabama. 

Judge Carlton Reeves

Join us Tuesday, March 24, 2015, for the second in a three-part series, 

Murder, Mayhem, and Lynching: Constructing Race, Class, and Gender in America

with Dr. Deborah H. Barnes, Associate Professor of English at Jackson State University. 

This event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO

located at 1017 John R. Lynch Street on the JSU Campus.

The Furrow of His Brow: The Lost History of Black Lynch Mobs

In this discussion, Dr. Barnes will explore little known lore about African American lynch mobs, which, like their white counterparts, were committed to keeping the peace, insuring communal protection, and establishing standards for acceptable behavior.


The final lecture will be held on: Tuesday, March 31, 2015; 6 p.m., at Gallery1

Written in Blood: Discourses of Lynching
Lynching culture and racial violence were normalized and spread through newspaper coverage, published accounts, photographs, ballads, art and memorabilia.

The first discussion was held on Tuesday, March 17, 2015, at the Margaret Walker Center. Titled, The Noose and Pyre: Lynching and Racial Violence as Social Control, Dr. Barnes took a new look at lynching culture and practice during the nadir of American race relations. Barnes further examined the strategic use of racial violence against people of color as a means to construct “whiteness.”

These events are free and open to the public.

The Institute for Social Justice and Race Relations @ COFO,

Jackson State University Department of History & Philosophy,

Department of English & Modern Foreign Languages, and Gallery 1

The JSU Reading Community will engage in conversation with Akinyele Umoja,

author of

We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement"

Akinyele Umoja is an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Department of African-American Studies at Georgia State University. He teaches courses on the history of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements and other Black political and social movements.

He completed his undergraduate education at California State University Los Angeles, and graduating with a B.A. in Afro-American Studies in 1986 and achieved his secondary teaching credential through courses at Morris Brown College and finally Georgia State University in 1987. He went to graduate school at Emory University in Atlanta where he received his M.A. and PhD in American Studies with a concentration in African-American Studies.

Professor Umoja is the author of We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance and the Mississippi Freedom Movement (New York University, 2013). We Will We Shoot Back received the annual Anna Julia Cooper/ C.L.R. James Award from the National Council of Black Studies (NCBS) for the best book in Africana Studies in 2014. Dr. Umoja’s research has been featured in several scholarly publications:  Souls, The Journal of Black Studies, New Political Science, The International Journal of Africana Studies, The Black Scholar, Radical History Review and Socialism and Democracy. Umoja was one of the contributors to Blackwell Companion on African-American History, edited by Alton Hornsby; The Black Panther Party Reconsidered, edited by Charles E. Jones; and Liberation, Imagination, and the Black Panther Party, edited by Kathleen Cleaver and George Katisaficus.

Dr. Umoja is also active in the promotion and development of the field of Black/ Africana Studies. Umoja was the recipient of the National Council of Black Studies’ (NCBS) President Award for outstanding contribution to the discipline of African-American Studies. He currently serves as Board member of NCBS) AND is the chair of the NCBS Civic Engagement committee, which supports Black Studies departments’ community involvement projects. Umoja also serves on the editorial board of the historic journal The Black Scholar.

Two professional academic organizations, the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (1998) and the National Council of Black Studies (2008) have acknowledged Dr. Umoja’s work in the community. Professor Umoja is a human rights activist. He is a co-founder of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and active in social justice issues, particularly police and governmental misconduct.  He has worked in solidarity with the fight for democracy and social justice in Guyana and in Haiti. He is also the co-founder of Atlanta’s annual Malcolm X Festival, which is now in its 24th year. 

Join us on Friday, February 27, 2015 at 12:noon at the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO located at: 1017 John R. Lynch Street, Jackson, MS 39217

For more information, please contact us: 601-979-1563 or 601-979-4348 or email:


We Will Shoot Back