Student Entrepreneurship Fund
The Meek School of Journalism and New Media seeks to establish a Student Entrepreneurship Fund, which will support students' projects, thereby improving their resumes in the highly competitive job market. Published works and projects will demonstrate the students' competency in handling challenging real world assignments, which will make them more attractive to employers.
The first publication project planned is a collection of photo essays by 10 students who traveled to Ethiopia in January 2015 as a Study Abroad Team reporting on the nation, its people, culture, challenges and delights. These students spent two weeks interviewing and photographing the people and places of the unique African nation and the resulting publication will be designed to enhance Americans' familiarity with the people of the only nation on the continent that has never been colonized.
Proceeds from the sales of RIOT will support the Student Entrepreneurship Fund.
On Sept. 30, 2015, the 53rd anniversary of the 1962 riot at Ole Miss, the Meek School of Journalism and New Media will publish RIOT: Witness to Anger and Change, a photo history by Edwin E. Meek, with an introduction by journalist and author Curtis Wilkie and an afterword by Mississippi's former governor, the honorable William Winter.
Ed Meek's photos and recollections offer a unique personal and historical perspective to the University’s turbulent past. As Curtis Wilkie writes in the introduction, "To the school’s credit, Ole Miss has never tried to whitewash the story, heeding the words of the philosopher George Santayana, who warned that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
RIOT is in the final stages of design and is scheduled to print July 15, at a projected cost of $25,000. It will be a 160-page, high-quality 9 x 12” hardcover photo album containing 120 photos. Eighty of the photos in RIOT are previously unpublished.
A total of $25,000 will fund the publishing of 5,000 books, which will retail for $35.95. Potential proceeds would be $50,000. Our stretch goal of $50,000 will fund 10,000 books and potential proceeds will support up to five published books by students in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media!
Proceeds from the sale of RIOT will provide resources to the Student Entrepreneurship Fund and benefit students by strengthening their experiences/resume and chances of landing jobs upon graduation.
RIOT: Witness to Anger and Change
On Sept. 30, 1962, when a large demonstration in the Circle protesting the admission of James Meredith turned violent, Meek -- a 22-year-old graduate of Ole Miss and staff photographer for University Public Relations -- was on the scene. Throughout the night and the next day, he took more than 500 photos, including exclusive shots of Meredith in the classroom. Meek is the only photographer with a full body of work that covers the entire time period of the 1962 riot at the University of Mississippi.
“I heard the hiss of a bottle sailing over my head and saw it strike a marshal’s helmet. When I turned to see who had thrown the bottle, I did not recognize a single face. The crowd had become a mob of strangers. Suddenly a man snatched a reporter’s camera and smashed it on the ground. Photographers began warning each other, ‘Shoot and run!’ When people noticed me taking pictures, someone said, ‘It’s okay. He’s from Ole Miss!’” (Edwin E, Meek, Foreword)
Meek helped set up a press room in the Lyceum and went back and forth to the Circle taking photographs. The rioting, which took the lives of French journalist Paul Guihard and bystander Ray Gunter of Abbeville, lasted until dawn when it was suppressed by Federal Marshals, the Mississippi National Guard and U.S. Army units. James Meredith successfully registered for classes that day, permanently integrating the University. Meredith graduated from Ole Miss in 1963.
“I have always believed that Mississippi has much to teach the rest of the country when it comes to race relations. Having been the state where some of the most extreme battles over integration were fought, we can now appreciate more fully the progress we have made.” (Gov. William F. Winter, Afterword)
The book features a “Recollections” chapter in which Meek and Wilkie, both journalism students at the University, recall events from different perspectives. Meek was in the middle of the action taking pictures, diving for cover and changing film in a cloud of tear gas. Wilkie, also 22, braved the tear gas to witness the mindless destruction.
A public book signing will be held Sept. 30, 2015, the 53rd anniversary of the 1962 riot, at Sqaure Books, 2 p.m., on the Oxford Square. Shortly after, a public book signing reception will be held at 4 p.m. in the University's Overby Center. An exhibit of Ed Meek's photos will be on display, and Meek will greet guests and sign books. Donors who donated $500 or more will be invited to a VIP reception at 6 p.m. with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres honoring Meek, Wilkie and Winter at the home of Larry Wells, Falkner House, 510 S. Lamar, Oxford, AFTER the Overby Center public reception, Sept. 30.
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