FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Penn Center Civil Rights Symposium, 1862-2014
Beaufort, St. Helena Island, South Carolina
Since 1862, the Penn Center has been a historic site education that established a school to protect, defend and advance freedom for all citizens, newly freed and those already protected. The Penn Center is organizing a conference to facilitate greater state and regional understanding of this history and developing a network to continue network development and organization. A longer term goal is to utilize this opportunity to launch the Penn Center Civil Rights Institute, the first of several regional institutes for commemoration and facilitation of civil rights discourse, organization and planning.
The Penn Center is situated to lead the contemporary effort to secure a quality education and voting rights for all students. As such, the Penn Center is inviting key stakeholders in this movement to speak, including Dave Dennis, Bob Moses, Connie Curry, Cleve Sellers, Chuck McDew, Emory Campbell, Millicent Brown, Hayes Mizell, Jim Campbell, Myrtle Glascoe and other key civil rights activists who participated in the Penn Center’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. This can only be possible with local experts on the topic such as Emory Campbell, Victoria Smalls, and Maria Benac. Invited scholars and activists will address issues around the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the repeal of key components of federal protection of the right to vote, the re-segregation of public schools and the school to prison pipeline, the role (and peril) of historically black colleges and universities in today’s society, and the role of museums and programs of social justice for the contemporary civil rights movement.
As part of the conference, the Penn Center will also facilitate the participation of youth and young in workshops and panels on police violence and strategies around achieving a quality public education. This includes working with Dave Dennis, civil rights organizer from 1961-1965, and Algebra Project organizer since 1990, and Bob Moses, civil rights organizer from 1960-1965 and Algebra Project and Young People’s Project founder, 1990. There will also be screenings of recent documentaries on he Civil Rights Movement and issue facing our communities, such as: Freedom Summer, Freedom Riders, The Corridor of Shame, etc.
The outcome and benefit of the conference and launching the Civil Rights Institute at Penn Center is to further inform the local, state, and regional understanding of this very crucial history. This further develops the role of the Penn Center and Beaufort in the growing regional and national visibility of an area vital to ongoing discussions of quality public education in the country. This, as noted, will also develop the content and professional development of teachers, leadership development of youth and young people, and will contribute to enhancing the vitality of education throughout South Carolina.