Dear Campus Community,

I invite you to join me on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 for the culminating celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation Sesquicentennial events at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Foellinger Great Hall at 7:30 pm.
Dr. Myrlie Evers will deliver the keynote address. She will also receive the Presidential Award and Medallion in recognition of her life of activism for social justice and her service to humanity.

Although she is widely known as the widow of Medgar Evers,
Dr. Myrlie Evers is a woman whose sharp intellect, deep commitment, numerous contributions, powerful voice, and shining example have earned her a well-deserved reputation for outstanding national leadership in her own right. Between 1954 and 1963, she worked as a field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Jim Crow, Mississippi. Among her responsibilities were voter registration drives, civil rights demonstrations, campaigning for the desegregation of the University of Mississippi and Mississippi public schools, advocating for equal access to public accommodations in the wake of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, and educating the everyday citizen of their civic rights and responsibilities.  

Following her husband's assassination in June 1963, Dr. Evers continued to engage in social justice endeavors to secure funding and better opportunities for the poor, the homeless, and for organizations such as the National Woman's Educational Fund. She played an active role in the NAACP, including serving as the first woman to chair the organization from 1995 to 1998.  After leaving her post as chairperson for the NAACP,
Dr. Evers established the Medgar Evers Institute in Jackson, Mississippi, which continues to promote the values of democracy, freedom, and justice.

The culminating event on February 27 includes musical performances by the Black Chorus, the Men's and Women's Glee Clubs, and the Wind Symphony, which will be performing the Lincoln Portrait. There will also be a special commissioned piece in memory of Medgar Evers.  

I look forward to seeing you at this important campus celebration.  


Phyllis M. Wise


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