Hollis Watkins to Speak at SMSU Feb. 2

Published Friday, January 23, 2015

Civil rights pioneer Hollis Watkins will speak at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 2 in Charter Hall 201 on the campus of Southwest Minnesota State University.

His talk is entitled “The Struggle for Justice: Then and Now.”

Watkins is a Mississippi native and the youngest of 12 children of sharecroppers John and Lena Watkins. He was the first Mississippi student to become involved in the Mississippi Voting Rights Project of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He was a county organizer for the 1964 “Freedom Summer” and assisted the efforts of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to unseat the regular Mississippi delegation from their chairs at the 1964 Democratic party convention in Atlantic City.

He founded and is president of Southern Echo, a group dedicated to providing assistance to civil rights and educational reform groups throughout the south.

His presentation is a part of Black History Month activities at SMSU and is sponsored by the History Club; Access, Opportunity, Success; Black Student Union; Office of Diversity and Inclusion; and the UGLYs.

The event is free and open to the public.