By Monica Land
LORMAN – In 1963, Constance Slaughter-Harvey enrolled in Tougaloo College. There she met civil rights leader Medgar Evers shortly before he was assassinated. His brutal death inspired her to get involved in the civil rights movement and help bring about changes in Mississippi.
After graduating cum laude from Tougaloo College with a degree in Political Science and Economics, Slaughter-Harvey continued her fight for social equality while attending law school at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) and persevered to become the first black woman to receive a law degree from that institution in 1970. She later became the first black judge in the state of Mississippi.
As a trailblazer, Slaughter-Harvey will speak on a panel of “phenomenal female firsts in Mississippi at Alcorn State University on Monday, April 22.
In the continuing effort to promote cross-cultural understanding and the spirit of community, Alcorn State will hold its second annual Unity Through Diversity Week from April 21-26. The dynamic agenda is designed to bring the campus community closer together and reinforce the University’s commitment to inclusion.
The week-long program includes workshops on immigration and cultural identity, a service project allowing students to engage with senior citizens and promote intergenerational understanding, Latin dance lessons, and an interfaith service and a multicultural festival. The week concludes with an exciting awards luncheon that honors diversity champions at Alcorn.
On April 22, at 10:30 a.m., the panel of “phenomenal female firsts” in Mississippi will feature presentations by Slaughter-Harvey and Sally Garland, the first female mayor of Crystal Springs.
The keynote address will be
delivered by nationally recognized professor, author, and cultural critic Dr. Michael Eric Dyson at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 25.
In 2012, Alcorn became the first HBCU and the only school in Mississippi to receive the prestigious Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from Insight into Diversitymagazine. The work of the Office of Educational Equity and Inclusion was featured in theHuffington Post declaring Alcorn as “leading the charge” of diversity among HBCUs.
“We are proud of our progressive efforts to promote equity and inclusion, and we welcome all members of the Alcorn family and local community to participate in Unity Through Diversity Week,” said Dr. Derek Greenfield, director of Educational Equity and Inclusion.