John Lewis was a national hero, treasure and warrior for what is right and just in this world. He dedicated his life, and put his life on the line to secure voting rights and equal rights for African Americans across this country. I was fortunate enough to call him a friend. I am deeply saddened for his family and for this country. We lost a fighter who never, ever would back down, no matter the odds. My thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to his family. Let us use this time to remember his life and his unwavering commitment to equality and justice. Let us use this time to rededicate ourselves to the fights that we still have yet to win, the fights Congressman Lewis was fighting for, an end to gun violence in this country, a fair and equitable economy for all Americans and most importantly the right for all Americans, black, white, latino, asian, indigenous, LGBTQ to be treated fairly and to be able to cast their vote without fear, intimidation and easily. Let us remember to all get in good trouble, because right now, good trouble is what this country desperately needs. Rest In Peace, Power and Happiness my friend. – Reena Evers-Everette
James Charles Evers
September 11, 1922 – July 22, 2020
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Charles Evers. He lived a proud and productive life as a civil rights activist, elected official, entrepreneur and radio personality.
As young boys growing up in Decatur, Mississippi, Charles and Medgar Evers faced racial adversity, thus vowing to ensuring diversity as they entered adulthood. More importantly, these brothers committed to strengthening equity, civility, social justice and the achievement of parity. In the 1950s and early 1960s, Medgar was the esteemed leader of the Mississippi movement.
After the death of Medgar, Charles ascended to Executive Secretary for the Mississippi NAACP. He later became Mayor of Fayette, Mississippi and later ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Mississippi and United States Senator.
Charles and Medgar believed in the theory and concepts of integration. They often said, “in order to ‘integrate’, you must be able to ‘enter great’ with honor and sincerity.”
The Evers Institute will continue to manifest the high ideas and principles that Charles and Medgar Evers strove for during this sojourn on earth.
The A-TEAAM was presented with the Governor’s Award on behalf of the Mentors, by the Mississippi Association Of Partners in Education (MAPE). We are grateful to be able to serve young men in Jackson, Canton, Meridian, Attala and Cleveland! Thank you, MAPE, Thea Faulkner, and the awesome Jackson Public School District administrators, A-TEAAM liaisons and educators!
The ceremony was held on February 26, 2019, at Lake Terrace Convention Center, located in Hattiesburg MS.
Mississippi Center For Investigative Reporting
By Jerry Mitchell
Myrlie Evers expressed thanks that her family’s home is becoming a national monument.
Her gratitude mixed with memories. “It will always be the home that Medgar Evers and I lived, loved and reared our children in until he was shot in the back of the driveway of our home because he fought for his beliefs of justice and equality for all citizens of the United States of America,” said the widow of Medgar Evers, who turns 86 Sunday.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump signed the legislation, creating the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument.
In World War II, Medgar Evers fought the Nazis on the beaches of Normandy, only to return home and fight racism all over again in the form of Jim Crow that barred African Americans from restaurants, restrooms and voting booths.
A graduate of Alcorn University, he was turned away in January 1954 when he attempted to become the first African American to attend the University of Mississippi’s law school.
Before the year ended, the NAACP hired him as the first field secretary for the Mississippi NAACP.
He put about 40,000 miles a year on his Oldsmobile, traveling the roads of the state, recruiting NAACP members and investigating killings, beatings and other mistreatment of black Mississippians.
On the night of June 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy delivered his first civil rights speech to the nation.
Myrlie Evers and her three children, Darrell, Reena and Van, stayed up to watch Kennedy’s speech on their black-and-white television in their bedroom.
Each time Myrlie Evers visits the family home, “memories of the night come flooding back into my entire being,” she said.
Just after midnight, she said she heard her husband pull into the driveway, close his car door and then something unforgettable — “this loud shattering sound of gunfire.”
She rushed to the carport door, opened it and saw her husband struggling, covered in blood.
She screamed, and so did her children.
“That nightmare is still there,” she recalled. “All of those memories are as vivid to me today, all these years later.
“In remembering that nightmare, I find myself very frightened today about our democracy and where we are going.”
She hopes and prays that work will continue “to correct the wrongs that are still being perpetrated and to rid ourselves of the lies told about who we are, what we are and where we should be,” she said.
“I see a ray of hope with the young people of this country that my husband fought for.”
In 1994, Myrlie Evers finally saw justice for her husband’s killer, who went to prison, where he died.
A year later, she won a close vote to chair the national NAACP, which was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.
She helped turn the civil rights organization around financially before turning the leadership over three years later to civil rights pioneer Julian Bond.
Although she is now retired, she is far from silent.
“I will continue to fight for justice and equality as long I have breath to breathe,” she said. “I shudder at the thought of where America is today in race relations and other areas, but I do believe there is a spirit that rises in us, that is much larger than us.”
A quarter-century ago, the family donated their home to Tougaloo College, which has a small museum inside and gives tours to several thousand visitors a year.
Myrlie Evers praised Mississippi’s congressional delegation, which pushed for the home’s recognition, and to Tougaloo’s leaders for “protecting and caring for our home, which my children and I gladly turned over to them for their care and nurturing.”
She is pleased her family’s home will be kept “as a living monument” to her late husband, who was determined to see that “America kept its promise to all its citizens,” she said. “I hope thousands and thousands of people will be touched by his work for justice, equality and freedom.”
She still thinks about her husband’s funeral at Arlington National Cemetery, where then-NAACP Executive Director Roy Wilkins declared, “Medgar Evers believed in his country. It remains to be seen if his country believes in him.”
She sees a “crucial turning point in our democracy today,” she said. “It remains to be seen if the values that Medgar Evers fought and died for will continue to be a guiding light for this country, a man who believed in justice and peace for all.”
This story was produced by the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit news organization that seeks to hold public officials accountable and empower citizens in their communities.
“Although great strides in the field of human relations have been made, we cannot let up now!”
—Medgar Evers, April 1961
The Medgar & Myrlie Evers Institute (MMEI) continues the vision of its founders, Medgar and Myrlie Evers, who envisioned a world where all people are treated with respect and dignity and work together to achieve social, economic, and political justice.
Now, more than ever, there is an urgent need for human and civil rights change agents who are engaged, highly-skilled and enlightened, who advocate for communities experiencing injustices throughout our country.
Our commitment is to improve social justice through education, engagement, and leadership–the foundation of thriving societies. MMEI works collaboratively with strategic partners to fill significant gaps in social justice education and offer opportunities to engage in contemporary social justice issues. We are intent on fostering sustainable results through practical and comprehensive approaches to social challenges.
Please join MMEI and help support our important mission of preparing young people to lead, with the help of your donations.
We are poised to take our efforts to scale by enhancing our signature program,
Evers – Teach. Act. Publish. Promote. (E-TAPP).This initiative integrates a research-driven curriculum and a leadership program model, which promotes civic engagement and builds resiliency and hope in more than 1,000 youth and adults annually.
Through MMEI’s outreach programs like Evers Youth Empowerment Scholars (EYES); the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Research Scholar Program and the Medgar Wiley Evers Lecture Series, we continue to strive towards engaged and responsive communities.
To ensure clear and meaningful implementation and fusion of our work at such a critical time in history, we need your help today in growing and preparing young leaders for this generation and the next!
Please give generously during this season of giving; our young people deserve opportunities to embrace their position as leaders for positive social change!
We greatly appreciate your support and donations.
Respect! Dignity! And Peace for All!
Visit our donate page and make a contribution today