GW Continues ‘Pro[Claiming] Freedom’ with Fall Series

Events celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

August 26, 2013

A concert dedicated to civil rights era music, a photography exhibit and a conversation about the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom with civil rights leaders are among the events the university has planned this fall as part of its Pro[Claiming] Freedom series.

The series is part of the Pro[Claiming] Freedom Initiative , launched in January 2013 through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to commemorate the anniversaries of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the Emancipation Proclamation and to reinforce the ideals of democracy and freedom. 

“The Pro[Claiming] Freedom series links the historical continuum of democratic ideals as manifested in the Emancipation Proclamation and the struggle for civil rights,” said Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion Terri Harris Reed.

 “We have linked these two historical moments, as Dr. King did in his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, to inspire student instruction, engagement and ongoing activism,” she added.

The fall series is a culmination of the year-long programming that has offered students an in-depth look at the “living history” of the movement through events and discussions.

On Wednesday, Aug. 28, the university will commemorate the official anniversary of the march, with “Soundtrack of a Movement:  Freedom Songs in Perspective,” a musical tribute and spoken word performance featuring remarks by civil rights leader Julian Bond, as well as a  special performances by Patrick Lundy & The Ministers of Music and urban jazz harmonicist Frederic Yonnet.

 Other highlights of the fall series include the “Let Freedom Ring” photography exhibition; a special “Kalb Report” on the role of the media in civil rights; and a conversation with Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.”

 “At the intersection of race, social justice and economic equality is the heart of the discussion the Pro[Claiming] Freedom series hopes to capture and encourage,” Dr. Reed said.

Past events have included a panel discussion with Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) female activists titled “SNCC Women Then and Now” and a panel analysis of the “complicated legacies” of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and Barack Obama.

“If GW students are going to be global leaders, we must expose them to the global roots of civil disobedience and non-violent struggle, and the civil rights movement is central to that history and informs current protests around the world,” Dr. Reed said.

The full list of the Pro[Claiming] Freedom series is below

For more details on the series, visit the website.

“Let Freedom Ring” Photography Exhibition
Tuesday, Aug. 20- Monday, Sept. 30
Estelle and Marvin Gelman Library, 2130 H St. NW

Citywide Rally & Commemorative March on Washington
Saturday, Aug. 24
Independence Ave. NW (between the World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial)

“The Kalb Report: Remembering a March, a Movement and a Dream”
Tuesday, Aug. 27 at 8 p.m. (doors open 7:15 p.m.)
National Press Club, 529 14TH St. NW

“Soundtrack of a Movement: Freedom Songs in Perspective”
Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m.
Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st Street NW

Freshman Convocation & 5th Annual Day of Service “Fulfilling the Dream of Democracy”
Saturday, Sept. 7
Various Locations

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom: Labor and the Civil Rights Movement
Monday, Sept. 23
Teamster Labor History Research Center, Estelle and Marvin Gelman Library, 2130 H St. NW

A Conversation with Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”
Tuesday, Sept. 24
Jack Morton Auditorium, School of Media and Public Affairs Building, 805 21st St. NW