Stockton University will formally dedicate on Thursday its event space at the city campus in honor of Fannie Lou Hamer, a civil rights activist known for her speech during the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

For many years, Stockton has recognized the work of Hamer with a symposium dedicated to civil rights. The college announced last year it would be naming the new event space in Hamer’s honor.

University President Harvey Kesselman will make brief remarks during the dedication Thursday. A plaque dedicating the room will be unveiled.

The ceremony is open to the public.

Hamer was a major figure in the Civil Rights Movement, fighting for voting rights for African Americans in her home state of Mississippi and nationally. Her phrase “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired” was a rallying cry for the movement.

On Aug. 22, 1964, Hamer gave testimony at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City in opposition to the seating of an all-white Mississippi delegation. One year later, the Voting Rights Act was passed.

Stockton’s Board of Trustees approved the naming of the event space in December. The proposal was developed by Distinguished Professor of Social Work and Africana Studies Patricia Reid-Merritt and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Religion Joseph Walsh.

— Claire Lowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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