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'Spies of Mississippi' presentation at The W looks at civil rights

 

Filmmaker and former network news executive Dawn Porter speaks on the Mississippi University for Women campus Thursday at 6 p.m. in Nissan Auditorium.

Filmmaker and former network news executive Dawn Porter speaks on the Mississippi University for Women campus Thursday at 6 p.m. in Nissan Auditorium. Photo by: Courtesy photo

 

MUW University Relations

 

 

Filmmaker Dawn Porter, director and producer of "Spies of Mississippi," will be the featured guest this month for Mississippi University for Women's Gordy Honors College's Forum Series. 

 

Porter's presentation examines the civil rights movement in Mississippi. It is set for Thursday, Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. in Nissan Auditorium, Parkinson Hall. The program is free and open to the public. 

 

"Spies of Mississippi" is the story of a secret spy agency formed by the state of Mississippi to preserve segregation and maintain white supremacy. The film takes a look at the impact of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission formed in 1956 by the Mississippi legislature to monitor the activities of individuals thought to be involved in civil rights organizations. The documentary was aired on Independent Lens in 2014. 

 

Another noted work by Porter is "Gideon's Army," which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and won the Best Editing Award in the US Documentary competition. "Gideon's Army" also aired on HBO two years ago and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and Emmy. The documentary received many criminal justice awards, including the Ridenhour Prize from the Nation Institute. 

 

Porter, founder of Trilogy Films based in Montclair, New Jersey, is a former student of the Tribeca All Access program, where she won the 2011 juried Creative Promise Award for "Gideon's Army." 

 

Before entering the filmmaking world, she was the director of news standards and practices at ABC News, and vice president of standards and practices at A&E Networks. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and the Georgetown University Law Center. Porter was a practicing attorney at Baker & Hostetler and ABC Television Networks before beginning her film career. 

 

For more information or to reserve group seating, contact Dr. Thomas G. Velek, director of the Gordy Honors College, at [email protected] or 662-241-6850 or visit muw.edu/honors/forum.

 

 

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