Our Core Values
To accomplish its mission and achieve its vision, the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation shall adhere to the following core values and beliefs:
- America has been, is now, and increasingly will be a multi-racial nation. But racism has diminished every aspect of our society. We have no choice but to speak the truth about race and racism, and seek equality, justice and reconciliation.
- Despite the tragedies of the past, or perhaps because of them, both black and white Mississippians and Southerners have a profound sense of place, of being rooted in our neighborhoods and local communities. Accordingly, the Institute has and always will focus special attention on local community, grassroots reconciliation between blacks and whites in Mississippi and the South.
- Although grounded in Mississippi and the South and the unique challenges confronting reconciliation between blacks and whites, the Institute recognizes that the need for reconciliation extends to all races and aspires to be a resource for the nation and the world on matters of race and racism.
- The Institute believes that the racial diversity of the University, our local communities, state and nation is a strength if we treat each other with mutual respect, fairness and equity.
- The Institute recognizes that racial reconciliation requires individual, person-to-person respect for those who are "other" than us, and is committed to mutual respect, fairness and equity in all dealings with those who are different or "other."
- The Institute believes that individual and group respect, equal access and opportunity, and justice are inextricably connected to and essential for community wellness and broad based multi-racial economic growth.
- The Institute believes that reconciliation is a participatory process which requires choices and democratic decision making from the ground up, one person, one community and one organization at a time.
- The Institute believes that individuals and communities have to heal themselves. Reconciliation cannot be imposed from the outside or top down.
- The Institute will be non-partisan and will not be directly involved in any political campaign or elective initiative.
- The Institute is committed to involving the University’s administration, faculty and students in both its outreach programs and academic programs.
- The Institute is not merely located at the University of Mississippi, but is grounded in the University’s history and believes that the University has a unique responsibility and opportunity to foster racial reconciliation and the scholarly study of race and racism.
- The Institute believes that if the University is to achieve its goal as A Great American Public University for the 21st Century, the University must expand its definition of education beyond classroom teaching and campus research to include community service, and embrace the opportunity to educate and serve the community and citizenry beyond the University.
- The Institute believes that education is a collaborative process and that all involved are both educators and educated, especially when scholarly research, study and teaching are complemented by service.