The Wednesdays in Mississippi: Civil Rights as Women's Work exhibit website aims to preserve the legacy of a group of women who worked successfully to change the face of race relations in Mississippi. They did this by opening a dialog between women across regional, racial, religious, and class boundaries to bridge their differences, and in so doing, initiate both understanding and reconciliation.
Sponsored by the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), Wednesdays in Mississippi (WIMS) was the only civil rights program organized by women, for women, as part of a national women's organization. Despite that distinction, their work, like that of so many women in the movement, has remained virtually invisible. In order to fully understand how change occurred during this time, one must look beyond the household names and headline events to explore the important work done behind the scenes. Wednesdays in Mississippi: Civil Rights as Women's Work details the history of one such effort with the intent of reaching out to educators, scholars, and the general public so that we might learn from their example. It is our goal not only to record the past, but also to inspire others to further social, racial, and economic justice in the future.
This project began as a collaboration between the Virginia Center for Digital History, the National Council of Negro Women, the National Civil Rights Museum, and the Wednesdays in Mississippi Film Project, with Holly Cowan Shulman, Editor in Chief. In November 2009, the University of Houston Center for Public History (UH-CPH) inherited the website and has laid out plans for additional research.UH-CPH:
We would like to thank the following groups and individuals who are sharing their knowledge and their time to bring the WIMS story to light: Kenneth Chandler, Archivist, National Archives for Black Women's History, Mary McLeod Bethune Council House; Christine Tony, Assistant to NCNW Chair and President Emerita Dorothy I. Height; and Susan Goodwillie Stedman, WIMS staffer. We would also like to thank the members of the Steering Committee working with the National Civil Rights Museum to introduce the Wednesdays in Mississippi story through a national symposium, museum exhibit, and website, who have lent their ears and advised us in all matters WIMS:
For more information on Wednesdays in Mississippi, to share your own story, or to contribute to the site, please contact us.