The Ida B. Wells-Barnett Social Justice Weekend started as a concept proposed by Clencie Cotton, Director of the Rust College Community Development Corporation (RCCDC) and Charles Williams, Director of the Rust College Wilkins-Smith Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice. The concept to honor Ida B. Wells-Barnett, a native of Holly Springs, MS, a student of Rust College (formerly Shaw University), and a member of Asbury United Methodist Church also in the City of Holly Springs was predicated on the idea that for some inexplicable reason, the entity mentioned above and the Great State of Mississippi had not formally or officially recognized. As the first and only heroine who fought against the injustice of lynching African Americans during the 1890s. she has earned the right to be dubbed “The “Mother of Civil Rights and Social Justice in America.”
For implication of the IBWBSJW and with diversity in mind, a Planning Committee composed of 36 citizens from the local community of Holly Springs and Marshall County was formed to produce and host a yearly set of weekend activities (a 4-day event) around July 16, 2018, that highlights the life and times of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, one of America’s most renowned social justice pioneers, and a Mississippi icon known around the world for her work and accomplishment.
The weekend featured an opening session (Thursday evening, July 12, 2018) with the President of Rust College, Dr. David L. Beckley bestowing an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature and Philosophy (DLitt et Phil) posthumously on its former student who gained national and international acclaim for her work in social justice, Ida B. Wells-Barnett. The award was accepted by the great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Michelle Duster, along with several proclamations from the Mayor of Holly Springs and U.S. House of Representatives, and a panel discussion focused on the life and times of Ida B. Wells-Barnett.
Michelle Duster, great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells-Barnett receiving an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature and Philosophy from Dr. David L. Beckley, President of Rust College, Holly Springs, MS. (Thursday, July 12, 2018)
Michelle Duster, great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells-Barnett receiving a City of Holly Springs Proclamation from Mayor Kelvin Buck, Mayor of Holly Springs, MS. (Thursday, July 12, 2018)
The panel, The Life and Times of Ida B. Wells Barnett was moderated by Dr. Julianne Malveaux, an African-American economist, author, social and political commentator, and businesswoman. , and featured the great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Michelle Duster, Dr. Gemma Beckley, Director, Department of Social Work, Rust College and Dr. Hilda B. Williams, Author and Assistant Professor, Rust College.
Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Moderator; Michelle Duster, great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Dr. Gemma Beckley and Dr. Hilda B. Williams, panelists. (Thursday, July 12, 2018)
Dr. David L. Beckley, Reverend Leona Harris – Presentation in honor of Ida B. Wells-Barnett
ADDITIONAL PICTURES – Thursday, July 12, 2018