Last July, Sussex Technical High School social studies teacher Lisa Swan of Laurel traveled to Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., to attend a weeklong seminar, One Place, One Time: Jackson, Mississippi, 1963. She was one of 80 teachers from across the nation selected by the National Endowment for the Humanities in a competitive process to attend this Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop. The focus of the seminar was the murder of civil rights leader Medgar Evers 50 years ago and its aftermath.
While at the seminar, Swan attended lectures by the slain leader’s widow, Myrlie Evers Williams, biographer Michael Vinson Williams, civil rights activist the Rev. Edwin King, investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell, and faculty members Suzanne Mars and Stephanie Rolph. Also, the group visited the Medgar Evers House and Library, Eudora Welty House, Department of Archives and History, Margaret Walker Center, Tougaloo College, and Jackson State University.
Teachers collaborated while in curriculum sessions and discussed how they can infuse the new material learned into their social studies and English courses. Swan said the major highlights of her trip were standing in the driveway where Medgar Evers was assassinated, shaking his widow’s hand, and sitting in Eudora Welty’s rocker. She looks forward to being accepted to a similar professional development opportunity next summer.