Art Museum hosts Civil Rights Icons

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2016

                                    "Stories That Shaped A Nation": A National Commemoration of the
                             Women Icons of the March on Washington and the Civil Rights Movement

ALLENTOWN--Several iconic women of the Civil Right Movement will tour the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley on Monday, April 25, 2016, as part of the activities surrounding "Stories that Shaped a Nation," a three-year national awareness campaign that was launched in April 2015 in Allentown on Coretta Scott King’s 88th birthday and comes to a close in April 2017 on what would have been her 90th birthday. The Icons will come together in the Museum to view the exhibition This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement, which includes 156 photographs from the mid-1960s that capture the intensity of the Southern Freedom Movement through the visions and voices of nine young photographers. The exhibition, organized by the Center for Documentary Expression and Art, continues at the Museum through May 15.

"Stories that Shaped a Nation" is a non-partisan, inclusive collaboration of the U.S. Library of Congress, PBS39, women leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus, women leaders and community organizations of the Lehigh Valley, and the Freedom Memorial of the Lehigh Valley, the only memorial in the world featuring both Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King.

Join Honorary Co-chair, U. S. Congresswoman Yvette Clark (NY-9), Chair of the Sojourner Truth Project of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Renowned African-American poetess Nikki Giovanni in honoring the 2016 Icons: U.S. Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-7) and family members of the “Four Little Girl”s plus twelve other Icons including Pulitzer Prizing winning Alice Walker in celebrating the women leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. Events will take place at Miller Symphony Hall, The Freedom Memorial, and the Allentown Art Museum, all in downtown Allentown, PA.

“This three-year campaign launches the Freedom Memorial of the Lehigh Valley’s work to champion Civil Rights education with inclusion of important and relevant curriculum for school children,” says Sam (Siobhan) Bennett, a co-founder of the Freedom Memorial located at 4th Street and Martin Luther King Drive, Allentown. “It is essential that Pennsylvania raise its current score of ‘D’, as cited by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2014, as it pertains to Civil Rights education for school children in the commonwealth. We do so by celebrating women’s vitally important presence in the history of the Civil Rights movement at this event, and by acknowledging those today who are actively playing a role in further shaping a nation.” The "Stories that Shaped a Nation" three-year campaign will expand the role of the Freedom Memorial to champion Civil Rights education for all school children, in the Lehigh Valley, and throughout Pennsylvania to the nation at large. (Note: The Freedom Memorial of the Lehigh Valley is also known as the Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King Memorial.)

Collaborating with the U.S. Library of Congress, "Stories that Shaped a Nation" will continue work over the next two years to gather and enhance the stories of the women icons it has honored in 2015, currently in 2016, and in 2017 to ensure their stories are preserved for posterity.

 

Schedule of Events

SUNDAY April 24, 2016

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm HEAR the ICONS with complimentary REFRESHMENTS for ICONS and GUESTS

Miller Symphony Hall Theatre (Free Event): A panel where 2016 Icons, 2015 Icon Laureates and Honorary Co-Chairs will share their personal stories of the Civil Rights Movement with audience, moderated by

Honorary Co-Chairs, renowned African-American poetess Nikki Giovanni and U. S. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, Chair of the Sojourner Truth Legacy Project of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm MARCH WITH ICONS

Miller Symphony Hall to The Freedom Memorial (Free Event) A march open to the public where Icons and community march from Miller Symphony Hall to The Freedom Memorial.

(23 minutes, 1.0 mile)

 

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm WORSHIP WITH ICONS at The Freedom Memorial

(Free Event) A sunset memorial service permanently inducting the 2016 Icons at The Freedom Memorial. In addition, honoring the contributions of the labor movement to the Civil Rights Movement. (If inclement weather service held at St. James A. M. E. Zion Church immediately next door.)

 

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm MEET the ICONS

Miller Symphony Hall, Rodale Room (Ticketed Event) A light buffet dinner where community can meet and mingle with icons and Honorary Co-Chairs, collecting signatures from each in complimentary signature books. $35. and

both paid events for $60. (table sponsorships and groups rates available)

 

 

MONDAY April 25, 2016

9:00 am – 11:30 am HISTORY WITH ICONS

Allentown Art Museum (Private viewing) of “This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement,” for Icons, Icon Laureates, Honorary Co-Chairs, Partners and Keynote Speakers at the Allentown Art Museum. Buffet soul food breakfast served.

 

12:00 – 1:30 pm HONOR THE ICONS

Miller Symphony Hall, Rodale Room (Ticketed Event) Community luncheon honoring the 2016 Icons and attending 2015 Icon Laureates. In addition, honoring the contributions of the labor movement to the Civil Rights Movement. Buffet soul food lunch served: $35, and both paid events for $60. (table sponsorships and groups rates available) Tickets available: online at: stsan.eventbrite.com or Call and Order Tickets: Nah-Tarsha Cherry: 484.547.7082 | Tomacene Nickens: 610.865.9379. Seating is limited.

 

2016 Women Icons

Addie Mae Collins[1] Four Little Girls [Representative Attending 2017]

Denise McNair1,[2] Four Little Girls [Representative Attending 2016]

Carole Robertson1 Four Little Girls

Cynthia Wesley1 Four Little Girls

Sarah Collins Rudolph[3] Fifth Little Girl {Attending 2016]

U.S. Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-7) 3 First African-America Congresswoman elected to the district of Montgomery, Birmingham and Selma {Attending 2016]

Claudette Colvin First bus segregation resistor asserted in Civil Rights Movement

Diane Nash Civil Rights Activist

Marian Wright-Edelman Founder of Children’s Defense Fund

Alice Walker Civil Rights Activist and Pulitzer Prize winning author

Charlayne Hunter Gault Civil Rights Activist and Journalist

Toni Morrison Civil Rights Activist and Pulitzer Prize and Noble Prize winning author

Rita Moreno Civil Rights Activist and First Hispanic to win Academy Award

Joan Baez Hispanic Civil Rights Activist and performer of “We Shall Overcome” at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

 

Attending Freedom Memorial Icon Laureates

Nikki Giovanni3 Civil Rights Activist, World Renowned African-American Poetess, 2015 Freedom Memorial Icon Laureate

Airickca Gordon-Taylor for Mamie Till-Mobley2 Civil Rights Activist, Niece and CEO Mamie Till-Mobley Foundation

 

Attending Honorary Co-Chairs

U.S. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke3, (NY-9) Chair of the Sojourner Truth Legacy Project of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

Nikki Giovanni3, Civil Rights Activist, World Renowned African-American Poetess, 2015 Freedom Memorial Icon Laureate

 

2015 Women Honorees

Honorary Co-chair U.S. Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11)

Immediate Past Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus [Attendee 2015]

Honorary Co-chair U.S. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (NY-9)

Chair Sojourner Truth Legacy, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation [Attendee 2015]

Honoree U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) [Attendee 2015]

Honoree Amelia Boynton Robinson [Attendee 2015]

Honoree Nikki Giovanni

Honoree Elizabeth Eckford

Honoree Paula Giddings [Attendee 2015]

Honoree Beverly Guy-Sheſtall [Attendee 2015]

Honoree Ericka Huggins [Attendee 2015]

Honoree Frankie Muse Freeman

Honoree Johnetta Betsch Cole

Honoree Myrlie Evers-Williams

Representative for Coretta Scott King, In Memoriam [Representative Attendee 2015]

Representative for Rosa Parks, In Memoriam

Representative for Ella Baker, In Memoriam

Representative for Mamie Till-Mobley, In Memoriam [Representative Attendee 2015]

Representative for Ruby Dee, In Memoriam

Representative for Dorothy Height, In Memoriam

Representative for Dorothy Cotton, In Memoriam

 

 

Commemoration Sponsors

National Penn Bank

PPL

Sponsors

PBS39 – Official Media Sponsor LV Print Center – Official Print Sponsor Renaissance Hotel – Official Accommodations Sponsor Lillian June Photography – Official Photography Sponsor Lee Design Services – Official Design/PR Sponsor Lehigh Valley Black News Network – Official Marketing Sponsor

Community Partners

■ Allentown NAACP

■ Bethlehem NAACP

■ Easton NAACP

■ NAACP WIN Region 2

■ This Is Your Life Association of the Lehigh Valley

■ The Caring Place

■ Lehigh Temple #930 Daughters of Elks

■ Allentown YWCA

■ Bethlehem YWCA

■ Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley

■ City of Allentown

■ County of Lehigh

■ Allentown Art Museum

■ Allentown School District

■ League of Women Voters Lehigh County

■ League of Women Voters Northampton County

■ Lehigh Valley Black News Network

■ Lehigh Valley Delta’s

■ Lehigh Valley Masons

■ LV Black News Network

■ Miller Symphony Hall

■ Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way

of the Greater Lehigh Valley

■ United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley

■ Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum and

Lehigh County Historical Society

■ Lehigh Valley Dietetic Association (LVDA)

■ PA Legislative Black Caucus

■ Lehigh Valley Faces

■ National Black MBA Association Philadelphia Chapter

 

 

 

“Stories That Shaped A Nation” Volunteer Leadership Team

 

Sharon Fraser and Siobhan “Sam” Bennett, Stories Co-Chairs

Raquel Phelps, Stories Volunteer Administrator

Shirl Comick and Raquel Phelps, Co-Chairs, Operations and Logistics

Dr. Joann Spencer, Jean Brown and Mary Ellen Griffin, Co-Chairs Icons

Esther Lee and Jessica Lee, Co-Chairs PR, Marketing and Social Media

Bonita Crowe and Nah-Tarsha Cherry,Co-Chairs Community Partners and Ticket Sales

Tonya Trotter, Chair Volunteers

Sharon Fraser, Dan Bosket and Siobhan “Sam” Bennett, Co-Chairs Development

 

 

Freedom Memorial Board Members

 

Sharon Fraser, Board President

Nathan Kline, Board Vice-President

Adewale “Wally” Dosunmu, Board Secretary

Siobhan “Sam” Bennett, Board Treasurer

Many thanks to Kevin Easterling, Freedom Memorial Founding Team member

 

All financial gifts should be made payable to: The Freedom Memorial (United Way) Mail to: Sharon Fraser, 25 North 11th Street, Allentown, PA 18101.

[1] Deceased

[2] Attending Family Member or Other Representing

[3] Attending Icon

 

For more information contact:
Esther M. Lee, President Bethlehem NAACP
Chair, Marketing and PR Committee
“Stories that Shaped a Nation”
http://bethnaacp.org/

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