MSU Gender Studies program to host Riley-Collins for virtual presentation

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

Studio portrait of Jennifer Riley-Collins
Jennifer Riley-Collins (Submitted photo)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State’s Gender Studies program is sponsoring a Sept. 23 virtual presentation in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s ratification, which gave women the right to vote.

Free to all, guest speaker Jennifer Riley-Collins' lecture “Politics Is Not Pretty, So Why Must She Be?” will be held at 6 p.m. via Webex. Registration is required and can be completed at

Former executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi, Riley-Collins was named Hinds County Administrator in February.

A 1987 magna cum laude bachelor’s graduate of Alcorn State University, Riley-Collins earned a master’s degree in criminal justice administration in 1993 from the University of Central Texas. She also holds a Juris Doctor from the Mississippi College School of Law.

Riley-Collins is a decorated military veteran who served in the U.S. Army from 1985 to 1999, reaching the rank of colonel. She also is a former member of the U.S. National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve from 1999 to 2017. In 2019, the Meridian native ran for state attorney general as the first African American Democratic nominee for the office.

An advocate for quality representation and equal justice, Riley-Collins is an attorney licensed to practice in both state and federal courts and has coordinated legislative advocacy efforts aimed at reforming Mississippi’s juvenile justice system and de-institutionalizing at-risk youth. She is a member of the Project Equity Advisory Board and the Mississippi Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

The 19th Amendment’s centennial anniversary, formally recognized this year on Aug. 18, commemorates the guarantee and protection of women’s constitutional right to vote. The national event also is held to further educate the public about the amendment and the fight for women’s suffrage through programs similar to this one at MSU.

For more information on MSU’s Gender Studies program, visit

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Friday, September 18, 2020 - 4:43 pm