Harding University graduate receives humanitarian award

Harding University alumnus Jerry “Boo” Mitchell was honored April 15 at the 5th Annual Fannie Lou Hamer Humanitarian Awards Luncheon at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss.
Mitchell, a 1982 Harding graduate, is an investigative reporter for the Jackson-based Clarion Ledger whose work has uncovered evidence regarding murders during the civil rights movement and, so far, has helped put four Ku Klux Klansmen behind bars.
For his investigative work, Mitchell has won more than 30 national awards, including the prestigious MacArthur fellowship genius grant and the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service. In addition, he has won the George Polk Award twice, was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and is the youngest recipient ever of Columbia University’s John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism.
In November, Harding named Mitchell a Distinguished Alumnus for his commitment to justice and passion for investigative reporting, which has brought closure to numerous civil rights-era cold cases.
The Hamer Humanitarian Awards Luncheon began several years ago with a dual purpose (1) to honor and celebrate individuals that have made major contributions to the area of service and leadership in the pursuit of social, economic, political and environmental justice and equality and (2) to generate needed funds to support and maintain the organization’s mission of promoting social engagement by examining and teaching the tools and experiences of those who struggle to create, expand, and sustain social justice and citizenship. The annual event draws nearly 400 guests each year.