In 2012, the JP Forum celebrated 80 years of progressive organizing with the Highlander Center. We were joined by Civil Rights leader Hollis Watkins and Highlander Center Director Pam McMichael. The Highlander Center was training ground for many of the social change movements of the 20th century, including for Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Hollis Watkins is the co-founder and president of Southern Echo and has more than 50 years of human/civil rights work experience. He is the youngest of 12 children born of sharecroppers from rural Mississippi and was the first Mississippi student involved in 1961 in the Mississippi Voting Rights Project of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He in on the board of the Southern Sustainable Agricultural Working Group and is a founder and member of the Civil Rights Veterans of Mississippi. Mr. Watkins is board member emeritus of Highlander where his relationship with the institution began in the early 60s.