Desegregation in Mississippi

Desegregation in Mississippi

William Winter

8.2.2006

William Winter

William Winter served as governor of Mississippi from 1980 to1984. As governor, he helped pass the Education Reform Act, considered the most significant educational legislation enacted in the state since the establishment of its public school system in 1870. He was also a member of the President’s Advisory Board on Race from 1997 to 1998. Both the William F. Winter Archives and History Building in Jackson, dedicated November 7, 2003, and the Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi are named in his honor. In March of 2008, Winter was honored with the Profile in Courage Award given by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum for his work advancing education and racial reconciliation.

Former Mississippi Governor William Winter talks about the time of desegregation in Mississippi. He shares his memories of this period when all political discussions had a racial epicenter. Winter expresses his pride in Mississippi’s strides to ease racial tensions. In an introduction to the Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi, Winter touches on former President Bill Clinton’s influence in the development of the institute. He notes that the state has a fairly large coalition of forces that work to bring races together among civic organizations, faith-based organizations and economic develop groups. Winter says works still needs to be done pointing to events as recently as Hurricane Katrina, when the country saw evidence that a racial divide still exists. Winter fields questions from the Clinton School students and talks specifically about racial issues in education, business, and society in general today.