Human rights activists from across the South will gather at historic Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi, from Dec. 9 to 11 for the Southern Human Rights Organizers’ Conference.
The theme of this year’s gathering is “Forward Ever, Backwards Never: 20 Years of Advancing a Global Agenda for Southern Human Rights.” Participants will discuss critical human rights issues facing people in the U.S. South and global South as well as Islamophobia and resisting the program of President-elect Donald Trump. It’s dedicated to the memory of the late mayor of Jackson, Chokwe Lumumba, a human rights attorney who died in 2014.
This year’s conference marks a Mississippi homecoming for the biannual event, which first took place 20 years ago at the University of Mississippi Law School in Oxford. Conference coordinator Jaribu Hill, an attorney and founder of the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights, noted the significance of returning to “the state that has a record of having the largest number of reported lynchings in the post-slavery era, the state that continues to be one of the last strong holds of Klan terror, the state that continues to deny masses of its citizens their constitutional right to vote, the state that flies the confederate flag and celebrates its hateful legacy of racial terror and inequality.”