Learning from the Past: Tougaloo College Institute Partners with MS Center for Investigative Reporting

Courtesy of Tougaloo College

The Tougaloo College Institute for the Study of Modern Day Slavery (ISMDS) and the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting (MCIR) have established a collaboration based on student/faculty mentorships to research “cold cases”. The cases involved crimes against minorities that were not sufficiently investigated or resolved leaving innocent peopleā€”mainly minoritiesā€”arrested and convicted of serious crimes.

“The unique collaboration between the ISMDS and MCIR will enable our scholars to connect with leading investigators and expert faculty who are passionate about exploring cold cases and exposing injustices for victims’ families denied justice. The investigative training and mentorship opportunities will be a real opportunity for our scholars to have exposure to real-life unsolved cases, find new information, uncover the truth, and offer new insights. This work will be invaluable to our scholars’ educational experiences, law enforcement, and victimized families. I am excited and looking forward to learning more about the collaboration’s discovery and new learning,” said Tougaloo College President, Dr. Carmen J. Walters.

The collaboration is under the leadership of Dr. Stephen L. Rozman and Professor Johnnie Maberry, co-directors of the ISMDS; Mr. Ian Isaacs, co-founder and executive director of MCIR; and Mr. Jerry Mitchell, co-founder of MCIR. In addition, five pre-law students, Montaeā€™l Williams (English), Jada Pittman (Economics), Pierrerasha Goodwin (Psychology), Kevana Funches (Political Science), and Amber Magee (Political Science), will be engaged in cold case research.

These scholars will be co-mentored by Attorney Julian D. Miller, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of the Reuben V. Anderson Institute for Social Justice and the Reuben V. Anderson Pre-Law Program; as well as faculty members from the scholars’ major departments, including Dr. Miranda Freeman (English), Dr. Elsaudi Mohamed (Economics), Dr. Carmen Lewis (Psychology), Dr. Wanda McGowan (Political Science).

Ms. Cynthia Newhall, ISMDS outreach coordinator, will coordinate ongoing activities with MCIR and relationships with community organizations engaged in prison reform work. Funding for the project will be provided by ISMDS, from their grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and by MCIR.