Diane Nash, civil rights pioneer, appears at Fairfield University's 2013 MLK, Jr. Convocation


3 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013

Image: Diane NashFairfield University's annual commemoration of the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. features a series of campus-wide events designed to invigorate and inspire. The 2013 MLK, Jr. Convocation, an integral part of the celebration, features Diane Nash, a pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement, appearing in conversation with University students in an event moderated by Dr. Yohuru Williams, Associate Professor of African American History. The theme for the 2013 Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Observance, "The time is always right to do what is right," is based on a quote by Dr. King, taken from a Commencement Address he gave at Oberlin College in 1965. This year's Convocation takes place at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, in Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Admission is free and open to the public.

Diane Nash's involvement in the nonviolent movement began in 1959, while she was a student at Fisk University. In 1960, she became the chairperson of the student sit-in movement in Nashville, Tennessee, the first southern city to desegregate its lunch counters, as well as one of the founding students of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee. In 1961, she coordinated the Freedom Ride from Birmingham, Alabama, to Jackson, Mississippi, a story that was documented in the recent PBS American Experience film "Freedom Riders." Her many arrests for her civil rights activities culminated in Ms. Nash being imprisoned for 30 days in 1961, while she was pregnant with her first child. Undeterred, she went on to join a national committee, to which she was appointed by President John F. Kennedy, that promoted passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. She later became active in the peace movement that worked to end the Vietnam War and became an instructor in the philosophy and strategy of non-violence as developed by Mohandas Gandhi.

This year's Martin Luther King Jr. Vision Awards, given to individuals who exemplify the virtues of Dr. King, are being presented to Sharon Pedrosa '13, Wylie Blake, Campus Minister for Service, and David Brown, a faculty member in Applied Ethics.

Other University events which are free and open to the public, include:

Friday, January 25. Poetry for Peace, 6 p.m. in the Regina A. Quick Center. Fifth annual Poetry for Peace Contest Winners' Celebration. Bridgeport and Fairfield school children from Kindergarten through 8th grade were encouraged to express their own concepts of peace through the creative act of writing.

Tuesday, January 29. Memorial March, 4:30 p.m. Walk starts at the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola. In the spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, the Memorial March will guide participants around campus to various physical locations where acts of hatred and/or demonstrations for justice have taken place throughout Fairfield's history - from the 1960s to present day. At each location, there will be a reflection on the event along with a song, poem or prayer. The March will end at the DiMenna-Nyselius Library where an exhibition, "The Body of Belief," featuring Religious clothing that has been banned throughout the world, will be on display. A reception will follow.

Thursday, January 31.
Convocation, 3 p.m., Quick Center for the Arts, featuring a conversation with Diane Nash and students moderated by Dr. Yohuru Williams.


For more information, contact Fred J. Kuo
Director, Student Involvement,
 fkuo@fairfield.edu, (203) 254-4000 ext. 3733; or Dr. Ellen Umansky,
Professor, Religious Studies, eumansky@fairfield.edu, (203) 254-4000 ext. 2065.

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Media Contact: Mike Horyczun, (203) 254-4000 ext. 2647, mhoryczun@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 15, 2013

Vol. 45, No. 151