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Civil Rights Pioneer Speaks About Her Experiences

March 03, 2014

Diane Nash was a key coordinator of the 1961 Freedom Rides. She will speak on “Women of the Civil Rights Movement” during Alma’s Women’s Month observance.

Diane Nash, a civil rights pioneer who was instrumental in the Nashville sit-in movement and a key coordinator of the 1961 Freedom Rides, will visit Alma College to speak about her experiences.

Her presentation, titled “Women in the Civil Rights Movement,” will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 18 in the Dunning Memorial Chapel. Admission is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow her public talk.

Nash’s involvement in the nonviolent movement began in 1959 while she was a student at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn. In 1960 she became the chairperson of the student sit-in movement in Nashville — the first southern city to desegregate its lunch counters — as well as one of the founding students of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In 1961 she coordinated the Freedom Ride from Birmingham, Ala., to Jackson, Miss., a story that was documented in the recent film “Freedom Riders” by PBS and American Experience.

Her many arrests for her civil rights activities culminated in Nash being imprisoned for 30 days in 1961 while she was pregnant with her first child. Undeterred, she later was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to a national committee that promoted passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Nash’s talk is part of the college’s Women’s Month observance.

Women’s Month at Alma College
All Events Are Free and Open to the Public

March 4/Alma College instructor Jessica Karbowiak presents a reading, “These Things I Know,” at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 4 in the Swanson Academic Center, Room 209.

March 13/Harvey Katz, founder of Athens Boys Choir, gives an overview of transgender identity and related issues at 3 p.m. Thursday, March 13 in the Swanson Academic Center, Room 209. Admission is free.

March 13/Performing under the name Athens Boys Choir, Harvey Katz shows the human side and complexities of transgender identity with a performance that includes spoken word, storytelling and “homo-hop” at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 13 in the Tyler-VanDusen Campus Center.

March 18/Diane Nash, a pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement, presents “Women in the Civil Rights Movement,” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 18 in the Dunning Memorial Chapel at Alma College.

March 20/Students from the Women’s and Gender Studies 102 class present their class research on “Local and Transnational Feminisms” from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20 in the Thistle Room, Hamilton Commons.

March 22/Relay for Life, the annual 24-hour fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 22 in the Stone Recreation Center at Alma College.

March 27/Chicago actress Katie Cheely Wasserman presents the one-act play “Amidst Darkness” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 27 in the Tyler-VanDusen Campus Center. Inspired by the writings of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the play explores the spiritual darkness of one young woman and her struggle to maintain hope.

 

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