Community forum to discuss Starkville Civil Rights project

Contact: James Carskadon

Civil Rights Forum flier

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A Thursday [Jan. 26] forum at The Mill at MSU Conference Center will showcase the educational resources available through the Starkville Civil Rights project.

The forum, titled “Teaching the Untold Stories of the Starkville Civil Rights Movement,” begins at 5:45 p.m. with free admission to the public. Panelists will discuss ways to use classroom resources such as those provided by the Starkville Civil Rights project, an oral and public history effort which documents the local civil rights movement.

Panelists for Thursday’s forum include Noxubee County High School Teacher Julia Trzaskowski; University of Alabama Librarian Vanjury Dozier; MSU Associate Professor of History Jason M. Ward; MSU Research and Curriculum Unit Project Manager Synthia Ming; and Assistant Professor of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education Paul Binford.

MSU Associate Professor of History Judith Ridner, who has worked to coordinate the project, said Thursday’s forum will be a philosophical discussion.

“Some of this will be about the importance of teaching local stories, as well as some of the assumptions and politics of teaching a local civil rights story,” Ridner said.

The project is a collaborative effort between faculty and students with MSU Libraries and the Department of History. Funding is provided in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Mississippi Library Commission. Thursday’s event is being held in conjunction with MSU’s 2017 Diversity Conference, which will take place Jan. 26 and 27 at The Mill at MSU.

In 2015, the group held a community forum to highlight the struggles of African Americans during Starkville’s civil rights movement, showcasing the area’s under-studied civil rights history. The project received the 2016 Elbert R. Hilliard Award for the most outstanding oral history project from the Mississippi Historical Society. It was also recognized by MSU’s President’s Commission for the Status of Minorities as an MSU Diversity Award winner in the team category.

For more information, visit, call 662-325-2838 or email

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