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Black Law Student Association

Black History Month: An Ordinary Hero, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland

February 05, 2018

Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, born September 14, 1941, is an American civil rights activist and a Freedom Rider from Arlington, Virginia. This inspiring historian is known for taking part in sit-ins, being the first white to integrate Tougaloo College in Jackson Mississippi, and to be a part of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Joining Freedom Rides, and being held on death row in Parchman Penitentiary for her involvement with the Civil Rights Movement, Ms. Mulholland risked her relationship with her wealthy family, her education at Duke University and placed her life in jeopardy in order to help create the change she wanted to see in the United States.

Ms. Mulholland faced threats and was hunted down by the KKK during Freedom Summer. Ms. Mulholland is now a retired teacher after teaching English as a second language for 40 years. Ms. Mulholland has started a foundation known as the Joan Trumpauer Mulholland foundation​. The foundation’s goal is to educate the youth about the civil rights movement and to help teach youth how to become activists in their own communities.