February 15, 2019  

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Journalist to Speak on Civil Rights Cold Cases at University Forum Feb. 16

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Jerry Mitchell

Jerry Mitchell, a McArthur Award-winning journalist with the Jackson, Miss. Clarion-Ledger, will be the first speaker for The University of Southern Mississippi’s spring 2016 University Forum series. His presentation, “Civil Rights Cold Cases,” is set for Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus.

Exposes by Mitchell contributed to the prosecution of Byron De La Beckwith for the assassination of Medgar Evers, Sam Bowers for ordering the murder of Vernon Dahmer, Bobby Cherry for the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, and Edgar Ray Killen for his role in the killing of Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman. For his work, Mitchell has received more than 30 national awards, including the George Polk Award twice.  In 2006, he was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist.  

“Jerry Mitchell has made enormous contributions to Mississippi journalism through his investigations of the state’s civil rights-related cases,” said Dr. David R. Davies, director of the USM School of Mass Communication and Journalism. “His passion for justice makes him a model not just for journalists, but for all Mississippians.”

The University Forum series, presented by the Southern Miss Honors College, is free and open to the public. For more information, e-mail University Forum Director Dr. Andrew Haley at andrew.haley@usm.edu.