On Saturday, December 6, 2015, the Leadership Class at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Center celebrated the 150th Anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, through writing, and recording this short Video.
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Congresswoman Lee Marks 150th Anniversary of the Thirteenth Amendment along with East Bay Students
Oakland, CA – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee marked the sesquicentennial of the Thirteenth Amendment along with President Obama, her Congressional Black Caucus colleagues, Oakland’s Rabbi Bloom and students from the East Bay’s Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center. She released this statement marking the 150th anniversary of the Thirteenth Amendment:
“Today, our nation pauses to remember one of the most significant dates in American history: the end of slavery with the passage of an amendment to the Constitution. The ratification of this amendment guaranteed freedom for almost four million Americans.
America’s legacy of slavery and racial oppression is a dark and sadly ongoing chapter in our nation’s history. Remembering our history is a critical part of continuing the process of overcoming injustice and discrimination.
One hundred and fifty years ago, the Thirteenth Amendment initiated our nation’s civil rights movement that continues to this day.
As many in our nation come to understand the gross inequalities and systemic racial barriers that are still endemic in our country, this anniversary should challenge policymakers to renew their commitment to ensuring equality and justice for all.
As our nation officially celebrates this important milestone, I am glad to be welcoming the students from the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center and Rabbi Mark Bloom, of Oakland’s Temple Beth Abraham, to Washington D.C. to attend the commemoration.
It’s vital that our nation’s young people have an opportunity to not only learn about our nation’s history but to participate in creating it. I know that these young people will return to the East Bay with a renewed commitment to completing the unfinished work of ensuring equality and justice for all.”###
Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.
Photo Gallery of the November 7, 2015 Barbara Lee & Elihu Harris Lecture Series Event, '"The Future of Nonviolence in America" Where Do We Go From Here.' Featuring Dr. Clayborne Carson and Dr. Clarence B. Jones.
The event was held at Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, CA.
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Minnijean Brown Trickey and Terrence Roberts were part of the Little Rock Nine that endured violence and the threat of death as they proceeded to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in September 1957. In doing so, they paved the way for racial integration in schools throughout the United States. Trickey and Roberts were 16 and 15 years old, respectively, at the time.
The delivered an amazing lecture for the Barbara Lee & Elihu Harris Lecture Series on April 11th in Oakland!
Please check out this article on the amazing night with two iconic leaders written by Lou Fancher: Oakland: Little Rock Nine members tell story of courage as they integrated school in 1957
My purpose is to educate those who aren’t educated, to communicate with those who don’t communicate, and to become a better leader, to change myself and to inspire change in others. I know that I’ll face obstacles like fear and nervousness, but these walls need to be broken, and voices are meant to be heard. Leaders should never be hide behind the wall of fear. To achieve my purpose, I wake up early, stay up later, and attend six classes a day, mentoring students who come to the, “From Why?” To “Why Not?” Leadership Academy. I enjoy helping students like myself, be the better leaders they’re supposed to be, fighting racism, sexism, and militarism.
As young women, often times we forget to rely and empower one another. Distractions often keep women from connecting with one another in a way that helps them perpetuate change. Today has been a really beautiful day where we could connect on a range of subjects from finite fossil fuels to menstrual cycles. Women have a powerful connection to things that bring about life so when we come together on a "change the world" basis it helps community grow. In addition to distractions, the opposite gender is often a huge barrier between women, in the sense that often times we find ourselves blinded in puppy love or by drives to be sculpted magazine beauties. Due to societal expectations women are often tri-chotimized falling into three categories b-word, mother/wife, virgin. Contributing to the stigmatization of women, the female tri-chotomy keeps women grounded in roles that do not allow them to successfully lead. Women's dissonance with the opposite gender as well as the female tri-chotomy keep us from realizing that we can be independent and happy on our own first, and foremost. The myth that we cannot be content unless there is a man in our life has to find it's way back to the ignorant place it came from. This, of course, means that women have to stop perpetuating beliefs that allow men to take over their capacity to become the women they ought to be. All in all, this is not to say that we need to keep all men away or that it is men's fault, it is to push to women to know that they have the job to lead, grow, and build community without giving up their power to societal roles.