ATLANTA – They stood up and marched along city sidewalks against social injustice and sat down at segregated lunch counters for the sake of basic human rights and equality. It all started 50 years ago when thousands of students from the Atlanta University Center came together to launch the Atlanta Student Movement.
On Monday, November 1, 2010 join Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, City Councilmember Michael Julian Bond and ceremonial co-hosts The Honorable Carolyn Long Banks, The Honorable Julian Bond and Atlanta Student Movement Founding Chairman Lonnie King for the dedication of Atlanta Student Movement Boulevard on the campus of Clark Atlanta University.
A commemorative community and student march will begin at 8:30 a.m. from Cleopas R. Johnson Park at Northside Dr. and Fair Street, S.W. to Fair Street and James P. Brawley Drive
The street dedication ceremony will take place at 9:00 a.m. in front of the Henderson Student Center at Fair St. and James P. Brawley Drive
A portion of Fair Street from Northside Drive to Joseph Lowery Boulevard will be renamed Atlanta Student Movement Boulevard in honor of the more than 4,000 Atlanta University Center students participated in student-led protests of the 1960s.
The Atlanta Student Movement was led by members of the Committee for the Appeal for Human Rights. The students played an integral role in the American Civil Rights Movement and served as a precursor other student-led protests against social injustice of the day.
“We owe much of our opportunity and success today to the great men and women of the Atlanta Student Movement who had the vision and foresight to stand up for human and civil rights despite seemingly insurmountable odds,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “Their courage and determination is the legacy upon which we stand today, and their work inspires all of us to do more and be more as we continue to push for freedom and justice for all.”
Said Councilmember Michael Bond: “The men and women of the Atlanta Student Movement are an asset to society and their invaluable work in the community is far reaching and will impact future generations in the promotion of racial justice, economic justice, women’s rights, and religious freedom.”
The students garnered national attention with the publication of “An Appeal for Human Rights,” an advertisement that appeared in several newspapers. The Appeal demanded that full civil and human rights be afforded to all citizens in Atlanta.
Morehouse College students Lonnie King and Julian Bond spearheaded many of the sit-in demonstrations where student activists who were opposed to the philosophy of some the political leadership of the day. They also expressed their concerns over social inequality through demonstrations across Atlanta and the South in hopes of effecting fundamental change.
The Atlanta Student Movement, motivated by the Civil Rights Movement, pushed for the desegregation of businesses, schools, housing, and health care facilities and more.