Claiming Freedom Symposium

Event date and time

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 (All day) to Thursday, February 19, 2015 (All day)


A symposium in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Summer, Free Speech Movement, Civil Rights Act, Freedom Schools, and the Voting Rights Act and the 150th anniversary of 13th Amendment.

Wednesday, Feb. 4

3-6 p.m.: Introductory Films (Golden Eagle Ballroom)

"Freedom Summer" (2014)

"Mendez vs. Westminster: For All the Children/Para Todos Los Niños" (2002)

"Sylvia Mendez v. Westminster" (2011)

7 p.m.: Panel Discussion (Golden Eagle Ballroom)
A panel of distinguished experts from diverse fields will discuss the impact of these historical events on their own lives and their importance today. Featuring Sylvia Mendez, Ericka Huggins, David Crittendon, Robert Land, Jean-Philippe Marcoux, Melina Abdullah, and Tomás Benítez, moderated by Lauri Ramey.

Thursday, Feb. 5

9:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m.: Teach-In (Golden Eagle Ballroom)
An informal series of lectures and roundtable discussions.

9:30-10:30 a.m.: Robert Land and Michael Soldatenko -- "The Struggle for Educational Equity since Freedom Summer, 1964: Promises Kept and Dreams Deferred"

10:30-11:30 a.m.: Lauri Ramey and Jean-Philippe Marcoux -- "Freedom in Jazz and African American Poetry"

11:30-11:45 a.m. (break)

11:45-12:45 p.m.: David Crittendon -- "Operation Bootstrap/Shindana Toys: The Dream Made Real"

12:45-1:45 p.m.: Malcolm Boyd and Andrew Thomas -- "Personal Reflections from the Trenches of the Freedom Movement"

1:45-2:30 p.m. (lunch)

2:30-3:30 p.m.: Melina Abdullah -- "Black Lives Matter!" (This session is located in the U-SU Los Angeles Room.)

3:45-4:45 p.m.: Ericka Huggins -- "Movement Forward"

6:30-10 p.m.: Celebration of the Poetry and Music of Freedom (Music Hall)
Featuring "Quilting," the poetry of Countee Cullen, set to music composed by pianist Andre Myers and sung by counter-tenor Darryl Taylor, and poetry reading by Ericka Huggins and Gloria Enedina Alvarez, accompanied by Cal State L.A.'s student jazz musicians under the direction of Dr. James Ford. Program also includes poetry reading by Cal State L.A.'s Poetry Seminar students, and creative writing students from Schurr High School, advised by Betty Harbison. 

Thursday, Feb.19

Film Screening and Book Launch: "A Higher Form of Politics" by Sophie Rachmuhl (U-SU Alhambra Room)
Panel discussion featuring Marisela Norte, one of the ten poets featured in the book and film, "A Higher Form of Politics," and George Drury Smith, founder of the Beyond Baroque Literary Center and editor of Beyond Baroque Magazine.

For more info:


English Department at Cal State L.A.


(323) 343-4140
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