December 10, 2016
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Oakland Youth Return from Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage Ready to Work for Justice

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. FREEDOM CENTER

 

NONVIOLENCE ● EQUALITY ● YOUTH ● ECOLOGY

   Board of Directors

FOUNDING CHAIR

The Honorable Barbara Lee

CONGRESSWOMAN

9TH–CD California

 

               PRESIDING CHAIR

Jesús Armas

ARMAS CONSULTING GROUP

 

                          VICE-CHAIR
 Debra Johnson


SECRETARY
 Hilary Sledge
BINGHAM MCCUTCHEN LLP

 

TREASURER

Phyllis Jones

COMMUNITY ACTIVIST

 

Robert Alvarado

Saundra Andrews

Miguel Bustos

Diann Castleberry

Dr. Garey Johnson

Roddrick Lee

Michael Lighty

David Peña

The Honorable Doug Siden

Audree Jones Taylor

David Tucker

Bonnie Wheatley

Tim Williams

Denise Youmans

 

Mrs. Charlie Mae Davis

BOARD MEMBER EMERITUS

 

Dr. Clayborne S. Carson

(Ex-Officio) DIRECTOR

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

PAPERS PROJECT

STANFORD UNIVERSITY

 

                                     

                             FOUNDER

Ira Jinkins

 

333 East 8th Street
                    

Oakland, CA94606

Telephone: 510-587-7896

info@mlkfreedomcenter.org

www.mlkfreedomcenter.org

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

March 10, 2009

Contact:  Roy D. Wilson, Program Director

MartinLutherKing Jr.FreedomCenter

Office (510) 587 7896, Cell (206) 571 6653, Toll free (877 872 3612)

 

Oakland Youth Return from Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage Ready to Work for Justice

 

            Oakland, CA – Two local high school students returned last night after actively participating in the Civil Rights Pilgrimage hosted by Congressman John Lewis (D. Georgia).  The youth took their place next to members of Congress intensively listening to presenters and speaking up during reflection periods and other sessions appropriate for dialog among the body of participating members.  The youth were selected by the MartinLutherKingFreedomCenter (FreedomCenter) at the invitation of Congresswoman Barbara Lee. They return with a deeper understanding of the role of the Civil Rights movement in the modern history of the United States, and with enthusiasm for carrying out the work for justice here in the San FranciscoBay area.

            The FreedomCenter’s selection by Congresswoman Lee’s office is the latest recognition of the efforts of FreedomCenter students and staff to spotlight the struggle for peace and a stronger democracy.  The Pilgrimage participants, Eric Fuller of EastOaklandSchool of the Arts and Gerardo Cuevas of EmeryHigh School, made a direct connection to the organized effort of the Civil Rights movement to gain voting rights for all Americans in the 1960s with the FreedomCenter’s efforts to mobilize individuals to integrate into the political process.  “Our generation must develop a true spirit of gratitude for those who fought for the right to vote,” Fuller said upon arrival at Oakland International airport.  “We must not turn our back on their victory” Fuller added, “we must do our part to continue mobilizing, educating and arousing our people until all of us vote and participate.”

            The FreedomCenter, as part of its program to confront racism and violence, is involved in struggles to transform public education to ensure all have access to the promise of excellent education.  Many presenters at the Civil Rights Pilgrimage and many members of Congress spoke to the great challenges facing public schools. Gerardo Cuevas noted, “During the earlier times in our movement people fought to get their children into integrated schools that promoted opportunity for all to gain knowledge and grow.  Today many of us have abandoned the drive for better education.  We have let our schools fail.”

            Fuller and Cuevas joined Freedom Center Director of Community and Government Relations, Karen Bohlke, as the trio exchanged ideas and emotions with many Civil Rights leaders such as Dorothy Cotton, Rev. James Lawson, Bernard La Fayette and Reverend Joseph Lowry.  Rev. Lowry told the group that “today we need to be like the Redwood trees of California, strong enough to withstand any kind of storm or forest fire so that we’re here when the crisis is gone.”

            Fuller, Cuevas and Bohlke will be making presentations in classrooms and community events informing people of their experience and arousing and mobilizing people to actively engage in making the world better. 

            The MartinLutherKing Jr.FreedomCenter serves communities in the San Francisco Bay Area preparing youth ambassadors to apply nonviolence leadership in fostering peace, constructing community and strengthening democracy.  For more information call the FreedomCenter office at (510 587 7896) or visit www.mlkfreedomcenter.org.

 

From Left to Right, Gerardo Cuevas, Congressman John Lewis, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Eric Fuller at the EdmondPettusBridge

 



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