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Jackson State University’s Fannie Lou Hamer Institue @ COFO will recognize six agents of change during the 2014 Fannie Lou Hamer Humanitarian Awards Luncheon on Friday, April 4.
The honorees will receive the Fannie Lou Hamer Humanitarian Award during an 11:30 a.m. ceremony held in Ballrooms A & B of the JSU Student Union.
The following are the 2014 honorees:
Jessie Harris worked on voter registration campaigns around Mississippi in the early 1960s,
particularly in the Delta region. In 1964, he helped train Freedom Summer volunteers before they came to Mississippi, and managed the volunteers in and around the McComb area.
Dr. Beverly Hogan is the first woman president of historic Tougaloo College. An effective and committed leader, Hogan served as the commissioner for the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission, the executive director of the Governor’s Office of Federal State Programs and the executive director of the Mental Health Association in Hinds County and the state of Mississippi, respectively.
Attorney Derrick Johnson is president of the Mississippi State Conference NAACP. Johnson successfully managed the Jackson Public School District bond referendum campaign that brought $150 million in renovations and new schools to the Jackson area.
The Honorable Mayor of Jackson, Chokwe Lumumba will be recognized (posthumously). Lumumba was a lifelong advocate for civil and human rights. He won the Jackson mayoral general election with 87 percent of the vote after a strong campaign on “The People Must Decide.” He was the lead attorney for a number of high profile clients, including the late Tupac Shakur. He also negotiated the release of Jamie and Gladys Scott in 2011, two sisters who served 16 years of double life sentences for an $11 robbery.
Jed Oppenheim was recently appointed to the Jackson Public School District (JPS) Board of Trustees, where he works to ensure all youth in the community have access to high quality K-12 education. Formerly a senior advocate for Mississippi Initiatives with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Oppenheim assisted in organizing campaigns that addressed harsh discipline practices pushing children out of Mississippi’s public schools. As an advocate, he worked with students and parents throughout Mississippi to address their concerns and needs.
Albert Sykes, director of Advocacy and Policy for the Young People’s Project (YPP), is a 15-year veteran of YPP/The Algebra
Project. Sykes advocates for policies, such as “Quality Education is a Constitutional Right,” and works in conjunction with many organizations including the NAACP, where he is a member of the Statewide Education Committee, and the Wisdom Foundation, where he serves as the board president.