Past Event


A Road Scholar Program by Treasure Shields Redmond

Poet and educator Treasure Shields Redmond will present her original poems about the life and social impact of Fannie Lou Hamer. Hamer, a native of rural Mississippi and grassroots Civil Rights activist, helped to organize the 1964 Freedom Summer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and served as the vice-chairperson of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

Redmond will intersperse her poetry with freedom songs, gospel songs, and spirituals, examining, through African American expressive culture, the lasting significance of Hamer’s work and the movements to which she contributed. Redmond believes that the example of Hamer, who prioritized mutual respect and the pursuit of justice, is highly relevant to young people who seek to respond constructively to issues of race relations in the era of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

Additionally, Hamer’s legacy resonates with the experiences of many Illinoisans who traveled south to participate in Freedom Summer or were involved in the pursuit of Civil Rights in Cairo, East St. Louis, Chicago, and many other communities throughout our state.

This event is Free and Open to the public. For more information, please contact Dan Smolla at