Come celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. with stories and sing along by Hollis Watkins at Friends School of Minnesota.

Everyone is welcome to this community event.

Monday January 14, 2013
3:00-5:00 pm

Friends School of Minnesota
1365 Englewood Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104


This event is co-sponsored by Friends School of Minnesota and Southside Family Charter School with the collaboration and support of Hamline University’s Conflict Studies program. 

 See our blog post and photos from our 2012 event

Hollis Watkins at Friends School of Minnesota in January 2012
Hollis Watkins at Friends School of Minnesota in January 2012

Hollis Watkins was nineteen when he became the first Mississippi student to join the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) as a voting rights organizer. Almost immediately, he learned of the danger to those who resist entrenched and unprincipled power. During the years that he worked as an organizer for SNCC, he was repeatedly arrested and jailed. Later he served as the director of the Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Program of the Mississippi Association of Cooperatives before founding Southern Echo in 1990.

Hollis has also played a role in keeping the music of the civil rights movement alive. Having been sustained by music when he was hanging from handcuffs in a cell in Parchman prison in the 60’s, Hollis includes the musical traditions of the civil rights movement into the struggle of today, making it part of his organizing and bringing its message to a new generation of activists.

He is also the Co-founder and President of Southern Echo, Inc., a leadership development, education, training, and technical assistance organization dedicated to empowering local residents throughout Mississippi and the Southern region to make political, economic, educational, and environmental systems accountable to the needs and interests of the African- American community.

The twelfth child born to sharecroppers in Lincoln County, Mississippi, Hollis has spent a lifetime in pursuit of racial justice in his home state.

Young people are less dependent on the past, have the least fear of change and the best potential for creating a broad vision of a fair and just society. Their participation is essential if the struggle to empower African-Americans in Mississippi is to be successful.”  – Hollis Watkins, 1999,

I look forward to seeing you at this annual event!

– Jeannette
Assistant Head