Institute “Activist in Residence”
FIFTY YEARS AFTER MISSISSIPPI’S FREEDOM SUMMER, UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI’S WINTER INSTITUTE CREATES “ACTIVIST IN RESIDENCE” POSITION
OXFORD, MISS., Feb. 12, 2014 – As Mississippi prepares to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation has established an Activist in Residence position. The creation of this post is the most recent example of a quiet, bold institutional transformation taking place at America’s touchstone university in race matters.
The 2014 Winter Institute Activist in Residence will work both on campus and in communities to educate students and community members about Freedom Summer, the 1964 Mississippi grassroots campaign to register black Mississippi voters.
Dr. Roy DeBerry has been chosen as the 2014 Activist in Residence. A native Mississippian, Dr. DeBerry was a Freedom School student and organizer. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology at Brandeis University in 1973, where he went on to earn a master’s and a PhD in political science. He has studied at Jackson State University, Duke University, Carnegie-Mellon University, the University of Michigan, and Harvard University. Dr. DeBerry directs the Hill Country Project, in Benton County, Miss., which preserves oral histories of civil rights movement participants and helps local groups achieve economic sustainability.
Dr. DeBerry is looking forward to helping young people appreciate the connections between the civil rights movement, he said, “and the challenges and opportunities they face in modern America and the world.”
“We wanted to have someone on our team in the anniversary year of Freedom Summer who both participated that landmark event and who has devoted his life’s work to the causes of freedom, especially in education,” said Dr. Susan Glisson, Winter Institute executive director. “Dr. DeBerry fits these criteria perfectly. He has a lot to teach us, both about organizing and galvanizing youth, as well as keeping open the learning channels between the academy and those whose credentials come from decades of hard grassroots work. Preserving their experiences and their knowledge is imperative.”
To learn more about the Activist in Residence position or the other ways that the Winter Institute is helping to transform the University of Mississippi, please contact us at 662.915.6734.
ABOUT THE WILLIAM WINTER INSTITUTE FOR RACIAL RECONCILIATION:
The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation works in communities and classrooms, in Mississippi and beyond, to support a movement of racial equity and wholeness as a pathway to ending and transcending all division and discrimination based on difference.