A world where Black women and girls thrive!

“Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”



The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute of Advocacy & Social Action was born in the mind and heart of Founder Paulene Angelicia Simmons (“Angie”) to honor the Mississippi born civil rights activists’ work. After receiving permission from Hamer’s daughter, Vergie Faulkner, the Institute was incorporated on August 24, 2014, and shortly thereafter, the Fannie Lou’s Girls’ Program was implemented. The Program kicked off its first session on Monday, October 6, 2014, what would have been Hamer’s 97th birthday. There were over fifteen people in attendance.

In July 2017, the Center for Black Girls hosted its 1st Annual Her~She Girls’ Leadership Summer Camp. There were 20 girls who participated in the Her~She Girls’ Camp, several attending daily. Of the 20 girls who participated, seven remained to participate in the Fannie Lou’s Girls’ Fall and Spring Saturday sessions. Participants in the Program learned debate principles, how to research information for debate argument using the Wake County Public Library resources, how to play chess, how to create advocacy campaign materials (supporting the release of Cyntonia Jones), and the workings of the Executive and Legislative branches of North Carolina Government.


P. Angelicia Simmons, J.D.  Executive Director, Mentor

P. Angelicia Simmons, J.D.
Executive Director, Mentor



Currently, the Institute’s Center for Black Girls, Fannie Lou’s Girls, has serviced over 20 Black girls through its Saturday sessions and its Annual Her~She Girls’ Leadership Summer Camp.  Currently, Fannie Lou’s Girls is receiving funding from the NoVo Foundation. The Center for Black Girls’ sessions are currently held at libraries and at our headquarters in Wendell, NC.

The Institute will also serve Black women with future plans of establishing the Maria Y. Stewart Center for Black women seeking political seats, the *Minnie Ransom Center for Black women seeking mental, physical and spiritual wellness, the Joan Little Center for Black women who are encountering the criminal justice system and the Brittany Cooper Center for Black women interested in writing and sharing their work on political and social womanist thought.

The purpose of the Institute is to empower, equip and uplift Black women and girls. Our mission is to empower, equip and uplift Black women through culturally-contextualized settings - forums that discuss OUR concerns, centers that address OUR issues and resources that provide US with sustenance. 

* Minnie Ransom is the fictional character in Toni Cade Bambara’s “The Salt Eaters.” See http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100200166 for more information.


Why Fannie Lou?

∆ Was one of the delegates from Mississippi at
the 1968 Democratic Convention
∆ Recruited by SNCC to begin work with them
after her speech to the Democratic party in
∆ Received the Mary Terrell Life Award from
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (DST)
∆ Honorary member of DST before her death in

∆ Born in 1917, the youngest of 20 children
∆ Sterilized in 1961 during Mississippi’s
eugenics years
∆ Co-founded & represented the Mississippi
Freedom Democratic Party at the 1964
Democratic convention
∆ Created anxiety in President Johnson such
that he sent operatives to the MFDP to
∆ Rebuked Senator Humphrey when he
presented a watered down political plan by the
Democratic Party
∆ Ran for Congress in 1964 and 1965
∆ Outspoken critic of the Vietnam War