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Civil Rights Center Honors Key Events

GREENSBORO, N.C.  The International Civil Rights Center & Museum will celebrate the 47th anniversary of the March on Washington and recent 45th anniversary of the National Voting Rights Act with a special panel discussion, “From the 1963 March on Washington to the 1965 Voting Rights Act,” on Saturday, August 28 at 3:00 p.m.

“These two events are significant in that the march was executed for the sole purpose of bringing equality and justice to everyone and the Voting Rights Act is a direct result of that public demonstration,” said Bamidele Demerson, executive director of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum. “But in our nation, there is still much work to be done in the fight for social justice. Our panel discussion will focus on issues still facing us today.”

Dr. Teresa Styles, professor and former chair of journalism and mass communication at North Carolina A&T State University, will begin the panel with opening remarks. Dr. Loren Schweninger, a history professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, will serve as the session moderator. Panelists include civil rights activists such as sit-in participant Dr. Linda Brown, an English and Foreign Language professor at Bennett College; Hal Sieber, former editor-in-chief of the Carolina Peacemaker and Lecia Brooks, director of outreach at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala.

The panel discussion coincides with the historic march, which took place on August 28, 1963 in Washington, D.C. Assembled by a coalition of organizations, the march included civil rights leaders John Lewis, Whitney Young and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Held largely in support of civil and economic rights of African Americans, it is noted as one of the most pivotal events in U.S history and is also credited with helping to pass the National Voting Rights Act, signed on August 6, 1965.

On display in the Museum’s permanent exhibition is one of the pens President Lyndon B. Johnson used to sign the legislation. The Voting Rights Act is considered to be the landmark of civil rights legislation, and outlawed discriminatory voting practices against African Americans in the United States. Authors of this act were visionaries and included a language provision in the legislation, protecting a person’s right to vote regardless of their native language.

A reception will follow immediately after the panel discussion.



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