This year, the JCMP Fellowship Program presents local college juniors, seniors, and graduate students with the opportunity to take part in a historic initiative with The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office. JCMP fellows have the rare chance to serve as integral partners in the Emmett Till Cold Case Project, supporting the JCDA’s efforts through an expanded historical exploration of cases of civil rights violations. They will be a part of our coalition, helping the community heal while educating the public on the importance of that history. Specifically, JCMP is providing support from the initial investigative period through the end of the grant project by engaging our fellows and developing resources for community conversations surrounding the purpose of this project.
In the fall of 2018, JCMP launched its first fellow cohort. These Fellows studied at Birmingham-Southern College, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Miles College, Lawson State Community College, Jefferson State Community College, and Samford University. During the fall semester, they completed research on the 30 documented victims, culminating in the report, “Jefferson County’s 30 Residents.”During the spring semester, they became campus ambassadors, helping to teach others about their research. Some events they hosted included:
Presenting information on JCMP to more than 500 visitors at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute on MLK Day
At Jeff State, fellows gave lectures on this history on the Pell City, Center Point, and Clanton campuses. They also presented to upperclassmen at nearby Pinson Valley High School.
UAB students manned tables at events hosted by the African American History department, and a class partnered with JCMP to learn how to have intentional conversations around this history.
Samford graphic design students created sample JCMP material, hosted Anthony Ray Hinton on campus, and held discussions with fellow students around this history and its legacies.
Now, armed with the research of previous Fellows, we’ll work to support the efforts of The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office for the Emmett Till Cold Case Project. Jefferson County is one of five American communities to receive funding authorized by the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act. Our Fellows will work alongside federal partners, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the JCDA will pursue cases involving murders associated with civil rights violations in Jefferson County prior to January 1, 1980, as well as begin the process of community healing from collective trauma while providing educational and emotional resources to maintain and strengthen trust with community members.
JCMP is an integral partner in the Project. We will support the JCDA’s prosecutorial efforts through an expanded historical exploration of cases with civil rights violations. JCMP will also help the community heal by educating the public on the importance of that history and advocating for reform in the systems where injustice still exists today.
The 2023-2024 class of JCMP fellows will serve as an integral part of the Emmett Till Cold Case Initiative in partnership with the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office. The fellowship will include investigations into cold case files, facilitating community conversations, and the development of a final report.
Applications are accepted from juniors, seniors, and graduate students attending the following schools: Birmingham-Southern College, Jefferson State Community College, Lawson State Community College, Miles College, Samford University, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
No prior research experience is necessary to participate. We welcome applications from students across all majors and disciplines!
Students are expected to dedicate 2-4 hours a week to archival research and must attend a meeting once every month. The one semester will be dedicated to research and the following semester to outreach and planning. A weekend-long retreat will be scheduled for the fellows to prepare for the semester of advocacy.
All Fellows are eligible for a $750 financial stipend per semester for their participation in the fellowship.
JCMP Fellows at the Birmingham Public Library learning how to complete primary research
JCMP Fellows leading discussions with their community about their work
JCMP Fellows at their Report Release Event in February 2019
Mayor Randall Woodfin met with JCMP Fellows on a tour of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice