Civil Rights Trail seeking nominations

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

Time is short for communities to recommend sites for a Mississippi Civil Rights Heritage Trail, with a submissions deadline of Jan. 28.
The Civil Rights Trail Steering Committee is soliciting nominations of sites from a broad spectrum of the community, including convention and visitor bureaus, tourism offices, chambers of commerce, Main Street programs, boards of supervisors, universities and community colleges, and other statewide and regional organizations.
“We are trying to reach anyone and everyone who might want to make a recommendation,” said Sarah McCullough with Mississippi Development Authority Heritage Development. “We felt these individuals at the local level would be the best entities to involve people and groups that we might not have direct contact with.”
Churches, birthplaces, businesses, gathering places, cemeteries, schools, courthouses, bus stations and highways are among the types of sites significant to the people and events of Mississippi Civil Rights history, said Mary Beth Wilkerson, executive director of the MDA Tourism Division.
“We will be working with multiple organizations and associations to make certain we cover every possible location of significance,” she said.
The steering committee is made up of scholars and veterans of the civil rights movement who will determine the locations to be the first marked along the trail.
MDA is seeking funding for the trail and estimates the cost of researching, creating a marker, placing and unveiling it to be about $10,000 per marker.
“We know to commemorate the import of the events and to celebrate the bravery of the people with the impact they deserve will require a substantial commitment,” Wilkerson said.
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@journalinc.com.

Mississippi Civil Rights Heritage Trail
- For more information about making a nomination, call MDA Tourism at (601) 359-3297 or request a copy of the nomination form from your local convention and visitors bureau, tourism office, Main Street office or board of supervisors.