Read below for information about an exciting event for middle and high school students celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides. National Geographic is supporting this initiative along with our partners in the Thinkfinity Consortium.
From May until November 1961, more than 400 diverse and committed Americans rode south together on buses and trains, putting their bodies and freedom on the line to challenge the Jim Crow laws that enforced racial injustice and inequality in public transportation. The Freedom Rides changed the Civil Rights Movement and demonstrated the power of individual action to change the nation.
On Wednesday, February 9, 2011 (less than a week from today!), middle and high school students across the country will join together electronically for a National Youth Summit on the Freedom Rides and activism. Freedom Rides veterans Congressman John Lewis, D-GA, Diane Nash, Jim Zwerg, and Reverend James Lawson will share how they became involved in the Freedom Rides and how their lives were affected by them. They will join filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Freedom Riders) and scholar Raymond Arsenault to discuss the meaning of the Freedom Rides and the role of young people in shaping America’s past and future.