Alumnus Jerry Mitchell receives humanitarian awardHarding University alumnus Jerry “Boo” Mitchell was honored April 15
at the 5th Annual Fannie Lou Hamer Humanitarian Awards Luncheon at
Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss.
Mitchell, a 1982 Harding graduate, is an investigative reporter for
the Jackson-based Clarion Ledger whose work has uncovered evidence
regarding murders during the civil rights movement and, so far, has
helped put four Ku Klux Klansmen behind bars.
For his investigative work, Mitchell has won more than 30 national
awards, including the prestigious MacArthur fellowship genius grant
and the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service. In addition, he has
won the George Polk Award twice, was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist,
and is the youngest recipient ever of Columbia University’s John
Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism.
In November, Harding named Mitchell a Distinguished Alumnus for his
commitment to justice and passion for investigative reporting, which
has brought closure to numerous civil rights-era cold cases.
The Hamer Humanitarian Awards Luncheon began several years ago with a
dual purpose (1) to honor and celebrate individuals that have made
major contributions to the area of service and leadership in the
pursuit of social, economic, political and environmental justice and
equality and (2) to generate needed funds to support and maintain the
organization’s mission of promoting social engagement by examining and
teaching the tools and experiences of those who struggle to create,
expand, and sustain social justice and citizenship. The annual event
draws nearly 400 guests each year.