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‘50 Years Forward’ series honors civil rights efforts

In cel­e­bra­tion of the 50th anniver­sary of the land­mark Civil Rights Act next year, the North­eastern com­mu­nity is coming together to honor the hun­dreds of thou­sands of people who have fought for equality and justice.

The “50 Years For­ward” series, pre­sented by the Office of Stu­dent Affairs and the Col­lege of Social Sci­ences and Human­i­ties, fea­tures a year­long com­mem­o­ra­tion of the people, events, and orga­ni­za­tions ded­i­cated to civil rights efforts in America and around the globe.

The series of events and activ­i­ties also marks the 45th anniver­sary of the John D. O’Bryant African-​​American Insti­tute and the 40th anniver­sary of the Depart­ment of African Amer­ican Studies. Over the years the O’Bryant Insti­tute has pro­vided a range of ser­vices and pro­grams to stu­dents of African descent to increase oppor­tu­ni­ties for aca­d­emic suc­cess, civic engage­ment, and social inspi­ra­tion. The insti­tute is named in honor of John D. O’Bryant, Northeastern’s first African-​​American vice president.

Cen­tral to the series is “A Tribute to a Dream,” an event fea­turing a talk by Bob Moses, a civil rights pio­neer and founder of the Algebra Project, a non­profit that uses math as an orga­nizing tool to ensure quality public edu­ca­tion for chil­dren. The event is sched­uled for Jan. 16 at 4 p.m. in the Curry Stu­dent Center Ballroom.

Thursday marks the opening of a Gallery 360 exhibit fea­turing civil rights era pho­tog­raphy from the Uni­ver­sity Libraries’ Archives and Spe­cial Col­lec­tions. The opening recep­tion is at 4 p.m.

The Archives and Spe­cial Col­lec­tions pre­serve the his­tory of Boston-​​area social groups that served under­rep­re­sented com­mu­ni­ties. Some of the photos in the exhibit por­tray actions and protests sur­rounding civil rights, while others are por­traits of promi­nent indi­vid­uals who fought for equality. The por­traits include Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy; Jackie Robinson, the first African Amer­ican to play Major League Base­ball; and Coretta Scott King, a civil rights activist and wife of Martin Luther King, Jr., who received an hon­orary degree from North­eastern in 1971.

Use the Twitter hashtag #50yrsfwdNU to stay con­nected to the “50 Years For­ward” series and visit north​eastern​.edu/​5​0​y​e​a​r​s​f​o​r​w​ard for a full list of events taking place in Jan­uary and February.

Those events include a cel­e­bra­tion of Martin Luther King, Jr. on his birthday on Jan. 15, and a Black His­tory Month kickoff event on Feb. 3.

On Jan. 17, North­eastern will host a lec­ture by Dou­glas Blackmon, a pro­fessor, writer, and former jour­nalist. The event, “Slavery by Another Name: Uncov­ering the Untold Sto­ries,” is spon­sored by the School of Law’s Civil Rights and Restora­tive Jus­tice Project in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Col­lege of Social Sci­ences and Human­i­ties and the North­eastern Human­i­ties Center.

– By Joe O’Connell

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