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Center for Study of the Gulf South Hosting Online Forum August 11 featuring Investigative Reporter Jerry Mitchell, Civil Rights Educator Dennis Dahmer

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 16:58pm | By: David Tisdale

A Race Against Time August 11, 2020 6:30 p.m.A Mississippi journalist renowned internationally for his reporting on racial injustice and the son of a Hattiesburg area Civil Rights Movement leader murdered by the Ku Klux Klan will be the guests for an online forum Tuesday, August 11 at 6:30 p.m. and hosted by The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Center for the Study of the Gulf South. This event is open to the public.

Dennis Dahmer, civil rights activist and educator and the son of slain Forrest County NAACP President Vernon Dahmer Sr., and Jerry Mitchell, author of the highly acclaimed memoir Race Against Time and founder of the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting, will be the guests for the virtual Q&A session.

Race Against Time documents Mitchell’s critical role in reopening civil rights cases from the 1960s and bringing the murderers of civil rights activists, such as Medgar Evers and Vernon Dahmer Sr., to justice. Dennis Dahmer has served as a longtime educator about his family’s fight for civil rights and the struggle to find justice for his father.

“The Center for the Study of the Gulf South has had a longstanding interest in documenting the history of the long struggle for racial justice in Mississippi,” said Dr. Rebecca Tuuri, associate professor of history and co-director of the Center. “We expect this event will highlight the courageous work of these two Mississippians who have been fighting for justice for a national American hero and civil rights martyr, Vernon Dahmer Sr. Those who do not already know these names will never forget them after this event.”

Dr. Kevin Greene, associate professor of history and director of the USM Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage, will serve as interviewer for the session.

“I’m so honored to participate in this talk with Jerry and Dennis. For decades, these two men have devoted their lifetimes to the pursuance of social justice for Mississippians whose pasts and legacies have all too often been forgotten,” Dr. Greene said. “To have them in one place together and available for community discussion will be remarkable. Their respective stories are truly amazing, and I have no doubt they will captivate our audience with powerful histories of love, loss, hope and justice in Hattiesburg and Mississippi.

“Issues relating to social justice for black Americans have rightly become part of our national conscience. I have no doubt that we couldn’t have the conversations we’re having now without both the intrepid work of a Jerry Mitchell and the tireless efforts of Dennis Dahmer and the Dahmer family. Every American is in their debt.”

Access instructions for the session are as follows:

Meeting number: 146 818 6877

Meeting password: Dahmer

For information about the USM Center for the Study of the Gulf South, visit