Bob Moses served as Director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s (SNCC) Mississippi Voter Registration Project from 1961-1964, and was a lead organizer for the “Mississippi Freedom Summer.” Today his work seeks a national response to establish the fundamental right of every child to a quality public school education.
Co-produced by Merritt College and the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center
Civil rights attorney Fred Gray will be the keynote speaker at the Barbara Lee and Elihu Harris Lecture Series on Saturday. (Courtesy of the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center)
By Lou Fancher
During the Civil Rights Movement, attorney and preacher Fred Gray practiced patience, peace, and unflagging activism, which still resonate today.
Gray brings his “Where do we go from here?” message Saturday to the Bay Area as featured speaker at the Barbara Lee and Elihu Harris Lecture Series at Oakland Marriott City Center.Patience was the strategy Gray used in the early 1950s, when he left his home in Montgomery, Alabama, a state where black students were barred from entering law school, to attend Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
He earned his degree in 1954 and returned to open a law office in his hometown, determined to eliminate public school segregation in the state. A dedication to peaceful protest and activism were key tactics as Gray tackled civil rights issues beyond education institution reforms. In 1955, he successfully served as the lawyer to Rosa Parks, Claudette Colvin and the Montgomery Improvement Association during the 381-day Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Defending Martin Luther King Jr. on tax evasion charges in 1960, Gray argued and won cases that allowed the Selma to Montgomery March to proceed (depicted by Cuba Gooding Jr. in the 2014 film “Selma”).
Read Full Article Below:
Martin Luther King Jr Freedom Center returns from intensive 30 day civic Voter Engagement Drive
in the Central Valley of California
OAKLAND, CA (August 4, 2016) – Youth, interns, and staff of the Martin Luther King Jr Freedom Center return from 30 days of intensive civic engagement in the Central Valley of California. In addition to voter engagement in homes and community settings with thousands of Kern County Residents, the delegates spent their summer in the study and practice of civic engagement as a means to personal transformation and social change. In addition to sleeping on gym floors, making their own meals, and leaving cell phones and electronic devices at home for a month, the delegation registered 254 citizens to vote, knocked on more than 7,000 doors, and attended 98 hours of civic engagement classes.
Dolores Huerta and Congresswoman Barbara Lee, founder of the center, spoke on the relevancy and impact of the Freedom Center youth voter engagement summer. Dr. Roy Wilson, Executive Director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center, and Camila Chavez, Executive Director of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, also spoke about the results of the classes and the nature of this urban-rural civic engagement collaboration. The report back included stories and lessons learned in the low-voter turnout regions of Bakersfield, Lamont, and Arvin in the Central Valley of California—from the youth delegates who made the journey.
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.