The Department of Communication Studies presents a screening of “The Evers – One family’s Sacrifices to Make Change in America” and an actors studio style discussion of the award-winning film, “The Evers,” featured on Showtime. Emmy-winning filmmaker Loki Mulholland (The Uncomfortable Truth) explores the love, life, tragedy and triumph of the Evers family.
Medgar Evers, the field secretary of the NAACP in Mississippi became the leader of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi which ultimately led to his assassination on June 12, 1963. Told through the lens of his widow, Myrlie Evers, his daughter, Reena, and late son Darrell and his late brother Charles, “The Evers” is a heart-wrenching look at the sacrifices needed to make change in America.
Reena Evers-Everette was born in Mound Bayou, Mississippi in 1954, the daughter of Civil Rights activists Medgar Evers and Myrlie Evers-Williams. The family later moved to Jackson, so her father could expand his fight for human justice and equality. Reena was eight years old and a witness to her father’s brutal assassination, when he was gunned down in front of the family home.
Her mother relocated the family to California, where Reena was raised with her two brothers in a suburb of Los Angeles, followed by earning a degree in Business Merchandising from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. Several years of increasingly responsible employment in the fashion merchandising business led her to Washington, D.C., where she married (now divorced), and gave birth to three wonderful children: Daniel Medgar, Cambi Denise, and Nicole Myrlie. She was later additionally blessed with her grandson Daniel Michael.
Her strong leadership, negotiation, interpersonal, and organizational skills have brought her a wide range of opportunities to serve in corporate and nonprofit arenas with domestic and international entities. In 1979 she began a 32-year professional career with United Airlines, working in government transportation affairs, as Director of Service (LAX, Ontario CA), Ground Service Coordinator, Airport Operations, and Agency Trainer.
She has worked with several nonprofits, including East West TeleMedia International, a network design, systems integrator, and principal Value Added Reseller (VAR) for South African advanced telecommunications; Lullalee Productions Services (LPS), which promotes children’s literacy; and Sojourn to the Past, a project that takes high school students to the South on an educational journey of the Civil Rights movement. In her local community of Claremont, California, she volunteered with her children’s schools, the Girl Scouts, the American Red Cross (including a term as Chapter President), a community dialogue group responding to a local racially charged police shooting, and the Claremont Human Relations Committee.
In 2012, Reena returned to her native Mississippi to offer her management, public relations, and communications skills to the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute (MMEI), a national organization founded by her mother to fulfill the vision of Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers through education and civic engagement programs.
She has lectured at a national forum on the subjects of youth awareness and involvement, consulted with other organizations on training youth activists, and coordinated with the US Department of the Interior on the establishment of the Medgar and Myrlie Evers House as a National Monument. As Executive Director of MMEI, Reena is inspired and humbled by her father’s courageous leadership and integrity, as she continues to seek avenues to advance the mission of cultivating positive social change, intergenerational civic engagement, social and economic justice, and research on equity and social justice worldwide.
Loki Mulholland is an award-winning filmmaker, author, activist, and son of the Civil Rights Icon, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland. An Emmy-winning producer who has received 40 Telly Awards, Loki’s films on race and social justice issues have won 14 Best Documentary awards including the National Black Film Festival for his film on institutional racism, “The Uncomfortable Truth”. His first book, “She Stood for Freedom” was nominated for the 2017 Amelia Bloomer Award. Loki speaks across the country on issues of race and social justice.
Dr. Cynthia King is the Furman University Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and she is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Furman University where she teaches courses in strategic public discourse, public speaking, rhetoric, and media studies. Dr. King’s research analyzes African American rhetorical discourses of social justice and racial resistance.
Mary Sturgill is an instructor and Media Specialist in the communication studies department at Furman University, as well as a filmmaker who owns her own production company, SheShed Productions. She is a former news anchor, investigative reporter, and talk show host, with 20 years of experience, Mary has won numerous awards for journalism including two national awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. She is also the host of the Class E Podcast, a podcast produced in partnership between the Communication Studies Department and The Hill Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Furman University.