Civil Rights Legend and former NAACP Chairman Myrlie Evers to address Alcorn graduates at its 143rd Commencement Convocation

Lorman, Miss. (May 3, 2014) – Civil Rights legend and former NAACP Chairman Myrlie Evers will share words of wisdom with Alcorn graduates at its 143rd Commencement Convocation Saturday, May 10, at 8:30 a.m. in the Davey L. Whitney HPER Complex on the Lorman campus.

Alcorn will award degrees to nearly 600 students who have applied to receive 440 bachelor’s and 156 master’s degrees.

Myrlie Evers began her legendary tenure as chairman of the NAACP in 1995. Evers’ positive reputation among civil rights activists made her election a cause for renewed optimism among NAACP supporters. She is credited with spearheading the operations that restored the NAACP to its original status as the premier civil rights organization in America.

She became the first elected chairman-emeritus of the NAACP in 1998 when she retired to establish the Medgar Evers Institute, linking business, government and communities to further human rights and equality.

Myrlie Evers is perhaps best remembered as the widow of Medgar Evers, the Mississippi state field secretary for the NAACP who in 1963 was gunned down in the driveway of his home in Jackson, Mississippi. She waged a painstaking battle to keep her husband’s memory and dreams alive and valiantly lobbied to bring his killer to justice. Her diligence eventually paid off when the assassin was brought to trial for a third time and finally, in 1994, was found guilty of the murder of Medgar Evers, more than 30 years after the crime.

Always a voter-registration activist, Evers became a candidate to represent the 24th Congressional District of California in 1970. She went on to become the first black woman to head the Southern California Democratic Women’s Division and was convener of the National Women’s Political Caucus.

Her corporate career began in 1973 with a two year term with the New York firm, Selligman and Latz, Inc. where she held the position of vice president for advertising and publicity. For 10 years Evers worked for Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), serving first as the national director for community affairs, and later as director, consumer affairs. During her tenure at ARCO she developed the concept for the first corporate booklet on women in non-traditional jobs, “Women at ARCO”.

In 1988, she was the first black woman to be named to the five-member Board of Public Works by Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, where she helped oversee a budget of nearly $1 billion.

As an author, Myrlie Evers has captured the work and historical significance of the civil rights movement through several publications chronicling the life of Medgar Evers. In 1967, she co-wrote “For Us, the Living” with William Peters; and in 2006, with co-author Manning Marable, she penned “The Autobiography of Medgar Evers: A Hero’s Life and Legacy Revealed Through His Writings, Letters and Speeches”.

In 1999, she published her personal memoirs, “Watch Me Fly: What I Learned on the Way to Becoming the Woman I Was Meant to Be”, which charts her journey from being the wife of an activist to becoming a community leader in her own right.

In addition to holding 16 honorary degrees from leading colleges and universities, Evers is a recipient of numerous civil rights, human rights and community awards. Her governance expertise has been recognized by national and international organizations.

In 2007, as NAACP chairman-emeritus, she led a delegation to Paris, France, to present the Conseil Representatifs des Associations Noires (CRAN) with a recognition award in support of its efforts to achieve racial equality and social justice for black French men and women. Augmenting her social justice advocacy work, she remains an often sought after lecturer at colle