The Toughest Job: A Conversation with Former Governors Jim Hunt and William Winter

September 17, 2015

The Toughest Job: William Winter’s Mississippi, a new documentary about the 57th Mississippi Governor William Winter’s career in politics and his challenges to pass the Mississippi Education Reform Act of 1982, was the focus of a great post-screening conversation with former Governors Jim Hunt and William Winter on September 9, 2015, at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. The discussion – moderated by David Dodson, president of MDC – included the governors’ reflections about their political careers, work in education reform, and insights on what needs to happen next.

Gov. Winter was awarded the 2008 Profile in Courage award for his heroic efforts to pass the legislation. Among other reforms, the Mississippi Education Reform Act mandated statewide public kindergarten, compulsory school attendance, higher standards for teacher and student performance, and the creation of a lay state board of education.

The cosponsors for the event included: Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies and MFA|EDA; and UNC’s Center for Global Initiatives, Global Research Institute, Carolina Center for Public Service, Southern Historical Collection, Center for the Study of the American South, and The Hunt Institute.

The film, a Southern Documentary Project, received the 2015 Emmy for Best Historical Documentary from a Southeast division of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. To view it, watch it here or visit The Southern Documentary Project at


Former governors give audience an education
Reviving Support for public schools


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