Civil rights leader Diane NashUnder the theme of “Resistance: Black Activism through the Ages,” Lafayette College will celebrate Black Heritage Month in February with guest speakers, film screenings, community discussions, and a keynote talk by American civil rights activist Diane Nash.

Nash’s lecture will be 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17 in the Williams Center for the Arts, 317 Hamilton St. It is free and open to the public.

UPDATE: Due to interest on campus and in the Lehigh Valley, tickets for general admission seating will be required for this free event and may be picked up at the Williams Center Box Office during normal operating hours: Mon.-Fri., noon to 2 p.m.; 4-5 p.m. Please consider picking up tickets in advance of the program.

Click to Tweet, Civil Rights Leader Diane Nash Headlines Black Heritage Month @LafCol, Feb. 17.

Nash was a leader of the student wing of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s. Through the use of nonviolent principles, Nash led the Nashville Sit-ins, the first successful civil rights campaign to integrate lunch counters in a Southern city, and a turning point in the movement. She helped coordinate the 1961 Freedom Rides from Birmingham, Ala., to Jackson, Miss., which in the face of certain violence, led to desegregation of interstate buses and facilities. This story was recounted in the PBS American Experience film Freedom Riders.

Nash was cofounder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and helped initiate the Alabama Voting Rights Project and the Selma Voting Rights Movement. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy appointed Nash and other civil rights leaders to a national committee whose work contributed to the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The month’s events are coordinated by the Office of Intercultural Development and are sponsored by the Association of Black Collegians, the McDonogh Alumni Network, the Office of Religious & Spiritual Life, the Department of History, and the Africana Studies and Film and Media Studies programs. For more information, contact Intercultural Development, (610) 330-5320.

Black Heritage Month Schedule

  • Feb. 3, noon, Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, room 104. “Dungeons and Dragons of Modernity: Industrial Slavery and the Hidden Origins of Fascism in Antebellum Coal Mines,” by Jeremy Zallen, assistant professor of history. Sponsored by the Dean of Intercultural Development and the Africana Studies program. It is the first of five “Race and Ethnicity in History” lectures.
  • Feb. 10, noon, Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, room 104. “Eastern Promises: The Sexualization of Ethnicity,” lecture by Joshua Sanborn, professor of history.
  • Feb. 15, noon, Limburg Theater, Farinon. “The Legacy of Diane Nash,” lecture by Robert Mayer, professor of education and director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching at Moravian College.
  • Feb. 16, 7 p.m., Williams Arts Campus Theater. Film Screening: Selma or 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets.
  • Feb. 17, noon, Williams Arts Campus Theater. Film Screening: Eyes on the Prize (episode 3 featuring Diane Nash).
  • Feb. 17, 7 p.m., Williams Center. Keynote Speaker Diane Nash.
  • Feb. 21,The Color Purple on Broadway. By Reservation Only.
  • Feb. 22, 4:30 p.m., Oechsle Hall, room 224. “Women, Islam, and Activism,” lecture by author and religion scholar Jamillah Karim.
  • Feb. 29, 7:30 p.m., Oechsle Hall, room 224. “Outing Odell: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Sports,” lecture by Drew Brown ’06, visiting scholar at University of Houston.


Photo: Diane Nash

Kristine Y. Todaro
Director of Special Projects/Media Relations

Communications Div.

Lafayette College

Easton, Pa. 18042


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