Governor William Forrest Winter to Speak at Moton Museum

September 23, 2009

In the summer of 1963, before Prince Edward County Public Schools re-opened, volunteers from Queens College, New York tutored area students shut out of education by the closing of County public schools.  The Honorable William F. Winter will deliver the keynote address on Saturday, October 3 at the Robert Russa Moton Museum for the evening banquet recognition of the 1963 Queens College volunteer tutors.

The Honorable William Forrest Winter is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and the Ole Miss law school, where he served as Editor of the Mississippi Law Journal. During his time at Ole Miss, he was an active member of the Phi Delta Theta chapter. During World War II, Winter served in the United States Army infantry in the Philippines.

Winter first entered politics in 1947. While in law school, he was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives. He was subsequently re-elected in 1951 and 1955. He served as Tax Collector of the State of Mississippi, as well as State Treasurer and Lieutenant Governor.  Winter served as governor of Mississippi from 1980 to 1984.

William Winter currently practices law in the law firm of Watkins Ludlam Winter & Stennis, P.A., based in Jackson, Mississippi, the state’s capital, with offices in Gulfport and Olive Branch, Mississippi. He was a member of President Clinton’s Advisory Board on Race in 1997-1998.

In 1999, Governor Winter founded the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation on the University of Mississippi’s Oxford campus.  This Institute is dedicated to building more inclusive communities by promoting diversity and citizenship, and by supporting projects that help communities solve local challenges.   For more information about The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, please visit http://www.winterinstitute.org/ .

In March 2008, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum awarded Governor Winter its Profile in Courage Award for his work advancing education and racial reconciliation.

For additional information and tickets regarding the 1963 Queens College volunteer tutor recognition banquet, please telephone the Moton Museum at 434-315-.8775.

Other recognition events, include a welcome dinner at Mercy Seat Church in Hampden-Sydney on Friday, October 2, at 6 pm and a culmination service at Levi Baptist Church in Green Bay on Sunday, October 4, at 11 am.  Both dinner and service are open to the community.

The mission of the Moton Museum is to preserve and positively interpret the history of Civil Rights in Education, specifically as it relates to Prince Edward County and the role its citizens played in America’s struggle to move to an integrated society. The Museum is an educational resource for the Commonwealth of Virginia, accessible to students, educators and the public at large.  The economic development potential of Civil Rights tourism has been well documented by the states of the Deep South.

The Moton Museum is located in the former R. R. Moton High School at 900 Griffin Boulevard, Farmville, Virginia.  Moton was the site of the April 23, 1951 student walkout in protest of inferior educational facilities led by 16-year-old sophomore Barbara Johns. The Moton strike launched Prince Edward County’s 13-year struggle for Civil Rights in Education and resulted in the filing of Davis v. Prince Edward, which called for an end to racial segregation in public education.  Davis was decided, along with four other cases, in the Supreme Court decisions Brown v. Board (1954) and Brown II (1955) in which the court ruled that school boards must act “with all deliberate speed” to desegregate.