Tuesday, February 20, 5:30 p.m.
Integrating God's House
Dalton Lyon, who turned his Ole Miss graduate thesis on a civil rights campaign in Jackson in the 1960s into a new book, “Sanctuaries of Segregation,” returns to campus. He will be joined in a discussion by the Center’s chairman, Charles Overby – who was himself personally moved by witnessing the rough arrests of a group of blacks attempting to worship at his church in Jackson during that decade – and Warren Black, who retired after many years as pastor of Oxford- University United Methodist Church and a leader in the community.

Tuesday, March 6, 5:30 p.m.
Bill Rose Tells All
Bill Rose, a Mississippi journalist who rose to the heights of his profession as a prize-winning reporter and editor at the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post, is retiring after serving seven years as an Overby Fellow and journalism instructor at his alma mater, Ole Miss. He will talk about the critical news stories and colorful experiences during his long career with his friend Charles Overby.

Wednesday, March 28, 5:30 p.m.
A Conversation About Race
As the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination approaches, two well-traveled sons of Mississippi, Gene Dattel, who now lives on the East Coast and is author of “Reckoning With Race: America’s Failure,” and Otis Sanford, a former managing editor of the Commercial Appeal who has written extensively about racial politics and now teaches at the University of Memphis, will address the thorny issue.

Tuesday, April 3, 5:30 p.m.
'Delta Epiphany'
Ellen Meacham, a member of the Ole Miss journalism faculty, is the author of a just-published book which suggests that Robert F. Kennedy’s politics were transformed by his visit to the Mississippi Delta in 1967 where he saw first-hand the problems of poverty and hunger. The trip helped lead Kennedy to seek the presidency in 1968 in a campaign that cost him his life. Joining her on the program will be Overby Fellow Curtis Wilkie, who covered Kennedy’s trip for the Clarksdale Press Register.

Tuesday, April 10, 5:30 p.m.
Why Debates are Vital
Janet Brown, executive director of the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates for the past 30 years, will talk about the importance of these events in modern American politics with Charles Overby and Curtis Wilkie, who both covered most of the 20th century debates as journalists. (Janet Brown was instrumental in bringing the first debate of 2008 to the Ole Miss campus and is returning as a guest lecturer this spring at the school’s Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.)

Tuesday, April 17, 5:30 p.m.
Tales of Outrageous Injustice
In an explosive new book, “The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist,” Radley Balko, an investigative reporter with The Washington Post, and Tucker Carrington, director of the Mississippi Innocence Project at the Ole Miss Law School, document how incompetent and highly questionable testimony by often-used “expert witnesses” in Mississippi courts sent innocent people to prison. They will come to the Overby Center to talk about how a plague of institutional racism and junk forensic evidence became a force in the judicial system of this state.

A Conversation With Bill Rose

Bill Rose, a prize-winning journalist who retired this semester as an Overby Fellow, will make a valedictory appearance Tuesday (March 6) at 5:30 p.m. to talk about his long and colorful career in the second of the Overby Center’s spring schedule.

Charles Overby, chairman of the center, will conduct the conversation with Rose, his friend and colleague for many years.

The program will take place in the Overby Center Auditorium on the Ole Miss campus. The public is invited and there is no charge. Parking will be available in a lot adjacent to the auditorium and a reception will be held afterward.

A native of Shelby, Miss., Rose graduated from Ole Miss in 1969 and went to work for the Delta Democrat-Times in Greenville before moving on to two prominent newspapers in Florida.

He served as a reporter and editor at the Miami Herald, where he was engaged in numerous prize-winning projects. As a reporter, he covered city and county government before being assigned to the Herald’s Atlanta bureau where his beat was expanded to the entire South. After five years, he went back to Miami as deputy city editor and national editor, then took over as editor of Tropic, the Herald’s Sunday magazine which won two Pulitzer Prizes. He later moved up the coast to serve as managing editor at the Palm Beach Post, where he presided over numerous new prizes.

Following his retirement and return to Mississippi, Rose was named a fellow at the Overby Center in 2011 and also joined the faculty of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. He directed a special writing program that produced student magazines that concentrated on life in the Mississippi Delta and won three times the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Journalism Award, a national honor.

In 2015, Rose was given a Silver Em, the highest honor the Ole Miss journalism school awards to people in the profession with Mississippi backgrounds.

“Bill has had one of the most accomplished careers of any living Mississippi journalists,” said Overby. “We look forward to hearing some of the many stories that he knows about journalists, politicians and Southern life.”

Spring 2018 Schedule -- 50 Years Later: Looking Back on 1968

Dalton Lyon, author of “Sanctuaries of Segregation: The Story of the Jackson Church Visit Campaign,” Charles Overby, chairman of the Overby Center, and Warren Black, the retired pastor of the Oxford-University United Methodist Church took part in a discussion at the Overby Center about a campaign created more than a half-century ago to integrate churches in Jackson. This campaign is also the subject of Lyon's book.

Lyon, who now teaches history at St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis, first developed material on the subject for a dissertation while a graduate student at Ole Miss more than a decade ago. His book, published late last year by University Press of Mississippi, concentrates on an operation conceived by students and civil rights activists at Tougaloo College that became aimed at Methodist churches because of their the belief that the national denomination would disapprove of segregation.

Overby, a high school student in Jackson at the time, witnessed attempts to integrate his own church and was troubled by the rough arrests of a group of blacks trying to worship. During his long-time tenure with the Oxford church, Black became known as one of the community’s progressive leaders.

This program marked the opening of the Oveby Center's spring schedule. In recognition of the 50th anniversary of so many historic dates, the Overby Center is tailoring much of its schedule to reflect on the racial trauma taking place in Mississippi that had national impact.


The Overby Center for Southern Journalism & Politics’ mission is to create better understanding of the media, politicians and the role of the First Amendment in our democracy. The Center is funded through a $5 million grant from the Freedom Forum, a foundation dedicated to educating people about the importance of a free press and the First Amendment.

The Overby Center features programs, multimedia displays and writings which examine the complex relationships between the media and politicians - past, present and future. The Overby Center pays special attention to Southern perspectives.

Adjacent to the newly renovated journalism department facility at Farley Hall, the Overby Center is a new building that features 16,000 square feet of conference space. It includes a 225-seat auditorium, a multipurpose conference room that will accommodate 100 people for seminars and dinners, and a boardroom seating up to 24 people.

The center has state-of-the-art technology and video throughout the building, including a news wall with nine large-screen TV monitors for showing live news programs and current front pages from 12 Southern states.

The center is named for Charles L. Overby, editor of the Daily Mississippian at Ole Miss from 1967-1968. Overby was the CEO of the Freedom Forum and Newseum until his retirement in 2012.

Overby Center Auditorium

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