|November 7, 2005
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/654-2456, firstname.lastname@example.org,
or Jaclyn Loveless, 661/654-2138, email@example.com
A panel discussion on the legacy of Rosa Parks is scheduled at California State University, Bakersfield on Monday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Student Union multipurpose room.
Known as the “mother of the civil rights movement,” Mrs. Parks died on Oct. 24 at the age of 92. She is widely regarded as one of the most important citizens of the 20th century.
She was a seamstress in Montgomery, Ala., when, in December 1955, she refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white passenger. The bus driver had her arrested. She was tried and convicted of violating a local ordinance.
Her act sparked a citywide boycott of the bus system by blacks that lasted more than a year. The boycott raised an unknown clergyman named Martin Luther King Jr., to national prominence and resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court decision outlawing segregation on city buses.
Over the next four decades, she helped make her fellow Americans aware of the history of the civil rights struggle. A pioneer in the struggle for racial equality, Mrs. Parks was the recipient of numerous honors, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Nonviolent Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“We were profoundly moved by the national response to her passing that in many ways reminded us of the unfinished tasks of improving our society,”
said Gonzalo Santos, a CSUB sociology professor and organizer of the panel discussion. “Her example has resonated with our young people, and we think we should celebrate her legacy on our campus and teach our students what it means to not just know the world but to change the world.”
Titled “A Celebration of Rosa Parks and her Legacy,” the panel discussion is sponsored by Faculty for Social Awareness, African-American Student Union, community Alliance for Racial Equality, MEChA, Educational Opportunity Program, and the Political Science Club.
Parking for the events in Lots L and K is free. Refreshments will be served.
For more information, please call Santos at (661) 654-2191.