2015 Keynote Speaker

Joan Trumpauer Mulholland

Joan Trumpauer Mulholland

To mark the 21st year of our annual commemoration and the theme of this year’s program: Remember…, we welcome legendary Civil Rights Activist, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland. Ms. Trumpauer Mulholland participated in over three dozen sit-ins and protests, and was put on death row in Mississippi’s notorious Parchman Penitentiary with other Freedom Riders. She was involved in one of the most famous and violent sit-ins of the Movement at the Jackson Woolworth lunch counter and helped plan and organize the March on Washington. For her actions she was disowned by her family, attacked, shot at, cursed at, and hunted down by the Klan for execution. As a white southern woman Joan’s courage and fortitude in the Movement is highly regarded and recognized. She has been written about in several books including “Growing up in Mississippi”, “Breach of Peace”, and “We Shall Not Be Moved”. She has appeared on numerous television and news programs , and her story and experiences were highlighted in award-winning documentaries including “An Ordinary Hero”, PBS’s “Freedom Riders”, “Standing on My Sister’s Shoulders” and the groundbreaking film “Eyes on the Prize”.