Evers-Williams to speak at UM

Published 5:00 pm Monday, February 14, 2011

By KATIE HURST/ Lifestyles Editor

MONTEVALLO – The widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers will travel to Montevallo to be the featured speaker of the University’s Black History Month program Feb. 22.

Myrlie Evers-Williams is a known civil rights activist and garnered the national spotlight as the first woman elected board of directors chairperson for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

According to a press release from UM, Evers-Williams will speak in Palmer Auditorium at 7 p.m. Feb. 22 in a presentation that is free and open to the public.

The topic of her speech will be “Forging the Dream: Leadership by Action and Not by Design.”

Evers-Williams’ life is depicted in two movies, “For Us the Living: The Medgar Evers Story” and “Ghosts of Mississippi.” Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg portrayed her in “Ghosts of Mississippi.”

Evers-Williams was born in Vicksburg, Miss. and worked as a secretary for her husband Medgar Evers in the Jackson office of the NAACAP. In June 1963, Medgar Evers was shot and killed as he entered his Jackson home. Byron De La Beckwith was tried several times, but was not convicted of the murder until 1994.

Evers-Williams co-authored a biography of her late husband entitled “Us the Living.”

After serving as the NAACP chairperson in 1997, Evers-Williams decided not to pursue another term and instead started the Medgar Evers Institute to promote education, training and economic development.