The diverse Friends of Mississippi Civil Rights, Inc., comprised of community leaders, elected and appointed officials, and organizers from across Mississippi and Washington, D.C., formed in December to honor past and current civil-rights heroes such as  U.S. Congressmen John Lewis, Bennie Thompson and other legends. The Friends are hosting a two-day celebration worthy of people who believe the honest history inside the newly opened Mississippi Civil Rights Museum provides a roadmap to racial healing and transformation in Mississippi and the nation. This two-day event will showcase to the world this most significant, state-of-art and interactive Civil Rights Museum, which sits in the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi’s capital city.

Both Lewis and Thompson, who did not attend the museum’s initial grand opening in early December, have confirmed that they will attend the Grand Celebration and Gala, speak and accept their awards. Congressman Lewis will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Congressman Thompson will receive the Chairman’s Award.

The gala on February 23 will be a night to celebrate and applaud great American heroes. The awards dinner will honor five men and women who have long dedicated their efforts to freedom and equality of black Mississippians, and acknowledge the efforts of two ex- governors, a Democrat and a Republican, for helping make the Civil Rights Museum a reality: Governors William Winter and Haley Barbour. Congressman Lewis will give the opening keynote address at 10 a.m. Saturday to kick off that day’s festivities. A series of symposiums, open dialogues, and limited museum tours for Saturday, February 24, all free to the public.

Interested sponsors should email fundraising chairman Brandon Jones at bjones@barialaw.com . Donors can send checks to Friends of Mississippi Civil Rights, Inc., P.O. Box 1487, Grenada, MS 38902.

Friends is a separate organization from the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Mississippi History Museum.

The Steering Committee

Rep. Sonya Williams-Barnes | Co-Chair

Judge Carlos Moore | Co-Chair

Jacqueline R. Amos
Rep. David Baria
Lilli Evans Bass, Esq.
Jennie Eichelberger, Esq.
Jaye Espy
Brandon Jones, Esq.
Sen. John Horhn
Donna Ladd
Bobby Moak, Esq.
Keyshia Sanders
Sen. Derrick T. Simmons
Fannie Ware
Corey Wiggins, Ph.D