60th Anniversary: Freedom Summer, 1964

Join us in commemorating the 60th Anniversary of Freedom Summer with a series of impactful events hosted by esteemed organizations across the state of Mississippi. These various institutions unite to honor this pivotal moment in civil rights history.

Freedom Summer, a landmark initiative born out of the struggle for civil rights, sought to shed light on the violent oppression faced by Black Mississippians seeking to exercise their constitutional rights. Also known as the Mississippi Summer Project, this effort focused on the summer of 1964, with hundreds of young people from outside of the state teaming with local Black communities across Mississippi to push back on its deeply entrenched systems of white supremacy. Led by the umbrella organization Council of Federated Organizations (COFO)–particularly the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)–this movement aimed to foster a grassroots freedom movement that could endure beyond the departure of student activists.

Despite facing immense challenges and tragic setbacks, especially the murders of three young activists – James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner – the efforts of Freedom Summer were instrumental in pushing for change. Through voter registration drives, the establishment of Freedom Schools, and advocacy for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, activists made significant strides toward equality and justice.

As we reflect on this crucial chapter in our nation’s history, we invite you to participate in the events organized by these organizations. From discussions and lectures to exhibits and performances, there are numerous opportunities to engage with the legacy of Freedom Summer and its ongoing relevance today.

Join us as we honor the courage and resilience of those who fought for freedom and equality, and explore how their legacy continues to inspire us to create a more just and inclusive society. Together, let’s ensure that the spirit of Freedom Summer lives on.