September 24, 2014 | By Jason Bailey
Courtesy of The Daily Mississippian
The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation celebrates its 15th anniversary this week.
Founded in 1999, the Institute focuses on supporting racial equity in communities and classrooms to provide a pathway to ending all discrimination based on differences.
Susan Glisson, executive director of the William Winter Institute, said the program continues to work to be as efficient as possible.
“We hope to kick off a minor in civic and community engagement, as well as certificate program in healing and equity for practitioners around the country,” she said.
Glisson explained that the institute is starting its anniversary off by cosponsoring the 2014 Racial Reconciliation Week with UM Athletics and the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement.
She said some events that have been announced are the dedication and naming of Chucky Mullins Drive, changed from Coliseum Drive, taking place at 2:30 p.m. Friday at the law school courtyard as well as a 15th anniversary celebration and open house at the institute’s new offices in Lamar Hall starting at 4 p.m.
Christopher Schultz, director of development and communications, said the institute’s work on campus is crucial for creating an equal and safe environment for students.
“It is a key component to Chancellor Dan Jones’ vision in making the university a warm and welcoming place for every person every day, regardless of race, religious preference, country of origin, ability, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or gender expression,” Schultz said.
Harold Wells, senior general studies major and student worker for the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement, said he is eager to see an organization take a proactive stance on issues.
“I am excited to see different programs here on campus join together to promote a cause that desperately needs to be addressed,” Wells said.
Glisson said the program also features a Summer Youth program in which they select about 30 rising high school sophomores and juniors from all over Mississippi.
For nine days each student develops a project that focuses on a particular need of his or her community.
Glisson said the Institute’s main goal is to continue to thrive and present students with an equal and chance in both the classroom as well as the community.