Lauderdale


Bender, Rita Schwerner

Rita Schwerner Bender was born in 1942 and is considered a key player and civil rights activist during the Freedom Summer of 1964. Rita Schwerner and her husband Michael Schwerner were native New Yorkers who moved to Meridian, Mississippi, in January of 1964. They were tasked to work as field staff for the Congress of […]

Sturdivant, Syria Hayes

Syria Sturdivant Hayes is a prominent attorney in Meridian, MS. While attending the University of Mississippi School of Law, she became the first African American representative and the first woman representative in the student senate at the university. She went on to pursue a storied career in the law in her hometown of Meridian.