Long before I came to work for the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, I attended an integrated public kindergarten in Mississippi. Had I been born a mere 10 years earlier — prior to Gov. William Winter’s signing of the 1982 Education Reform Act — I would not have had that opportunity.
I have been blessed with much personal and professional generosity from Gov. and Mrs. Winter over the years, but the most enduring gift will always be that first one: the world-class public education I received in Mississippi, the unlikeliest of places.
Of course, the opportunity I received is still held far too exclusively in Mississippi and elsewhere, and I fear that our commitment to public education has retrenched in recent years. Nevertheless, Gov. Winter’s example proves that, through perseverance and good faith, politics can be the arena for noble causes rather than the lowest common denominator. I know beyond doubt that inspired leadership can bring about tremendous progress in Mississippi. Thanks to Gov. Winter, I have lived it.
Please take a couple of minutes to watch this trailer for an upcoming documentary from SouthDocs about Gov. Winter’s remarkable life and achievements, and keep your eyes peeled for the full release later this summer. Rest assured, we will let you know when it comes out.