Former Sec. of Agriculture & Mississippi Congressman Mike Espy Joins Board of Mississippi Center for Justice 

Jackson, Mississippi – Former Sec. of Agriculture and Mississippi Congressman Mike Espy joined the Mississippi Center for Justice board of directors


“We are positively thrilled to have such a passionate, committed advocate for Mississippi joining our team, especially at this moment in time. Mississippians have been hit incredibly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic – and the impacts could last decades. At MCJ, we will stop at nothing to help our state recover and thrive. With Mike’s leadership, expertise, and passion, we are more confident than ever in a brighter future for Mississippi,” said Vangela M. Wade, president and CEO of the Mississippi Center for Justice.


Sec. Espy has deep roots in Mississippi – and has dedicated his life to uplifting and supporting people all over the state. He was born and raised in Yazoo City – about halfway between MCJ’s Indianola and Jackson offices – and always knew he wanted to serve his community. After graduating from law school, he returned to the Mississippi Delta to practice law. He then became a Mississippi Assistant Secretary of State, and later Mississippi’s Assistant Attorney General. 


In 1986, Sec. Espy achieved an enormous feat: He defeated a two-term Republican incumbent to serve as the first Black Congressman from Mississippi since Reconstruction. Then in 1992, Sec. Espy was selected to serve as the first Black Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture. Since then, Sec. Espy has returned to Mississippi to serve the community he loves. 


“I am honored to serve on the board of the Mississippi Center for Justice. Mississippi is my home. For decades, I have seen firsthand all the wonders the state has to offer. But I have also seen the challenges holding it back. As I embark on this new journey with MCJ, I am excited to get to work to make our state stronger,” said Sec. Mike Espy. 




The Mississippi Center for Justice is dedicated to dismantling the state’s culture of inequity and injustice. Supported and staffed by attorneys and other professionals, the Center develops and pursues strategies to combat discrimination and poverty statewide.