Mississippi is one of those states forever associated with some of the most egregious moments of racism our nation has experienced. But a narrative that simply maligns the state without also celebrating its rich history of civil rights leadership does a great injustice to not just the residents of Mississippi but to everyone working against racial inequity.
Too often, we accept the traditional narrative…about the Civil Rights Movement: Dr. King stood up, Rosa sat down and now everybody is free. Of course, the actual story is much more complicated,” said Susan.
The history of civil rights in this country begins well before the 1960s and continues today, with organizations like the one Susan leads—the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation—serving as contemporary examples of how leaders of all colors have contributed to civil rights. The Institute spearheaded the effort to mandate a civil rights and human rights curriculum for every Mississippi student as a way to educate young people on how they can make their state better for future generations.