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Multi-year campus project to dive into impact of American civil rights movement

by John Drees, communications and marketing last modified Oct 09, 2013 08:54 AM

The civil rights movement of the 1960s changed America forever. But what has it really meant to society? And what effect will it have on our future?

Multi-year campus project to dive into impact of American civil rights movement

Louisville NAACP President Raoul Cunningham spoke at UofL's commemoration of the March on Washington. Such commemorations led to Project Progress.

The University of Louisville will launch a five-year program to celebrate the movement and explore its impact with a 5 p.m. reception, Monday, Oct. 14, at the University Club on Belknap Campus.

The program, Project Progress, will be a series of lectures, exhibits and other programming that will examine the aftermath of the “heroic period” of the movement from the Montgomery bus boycotts of 1963 through the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. The Department of Pan-African Studies and the Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity and International Affairs are project sponsors.

Celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in August prompted the program, said Ricky Jones, Pan-African Studies chair.

“After the events, where do we go?” he asked. “We’re going to take a deep dive into the movement —year by year, event by event—and explore what impact it has on society today and into the future.”

Project Progress will promote educational programming and scholarly examination, including publications and policy papers on how far America has advanced since the 1960s, Jones said. It also will provoke discussion on the social and political challenges that lie ahead.

“Before Bombingham and Beyond Trayvon: America’s War of Terror” will be the first lecture, Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. in the Ekstrom Library’s Chao Auditorium. The program will focus on community and government responses to “the long line of individual and community terrorist activities heaped upon black Americans.” The UofL School of Law’s diversity committee is the talk’s sponsor.

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