In the summer of 1964, more than 700 primarily white, affluent college students from northern communities descended on Mississippi, in a heroic and coordinated effort hatched by Bob Moses of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), to join forces with black residents and voter registration activists to shake the white supremacist infrastructure in the state and in much of the South to its core.
Stanley Nelson’s documentary, Freedom Summer, provides an inside look at these events from the perspective of the student volunteers and the activists who orchestrated Freedom Summer. The film also looks at the formation of a counter-delegation, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, to the all-white Mississippi delegation at the Democratic National Convention that year.
After a recent screening at the Open Society Foundations, a panel discussion explored that moment of incredible alliance and fortitude and its significance today for global movements for equity.
- Aryeh Neier, president emeritus of the Open Society Foundations, former national executive director for the ACLU, and a founder of Human Rights Watch
- Courtland Cox, former member of SNCC and now president of SNCC Legacy Project
- Jonathan Stith, national coordinator of the Alliance for Educational Justice
- Anna Csilla Daróczi, former gender research fellow at the European Roma Rights Center