This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer. June 1964 is where our point on the timeline toward equality and social justice begins, when Andy Goodman volunteered to register African-Americans to vote in Mississippi. On his first day there, he was abducted and murdered along with his companions James Chaney and Michael Schwerner.
When we look back on this pivotal moment, we think not only of these tragic deaths, but also of the thousands of civil rights workers who stood bravely in the front lines and survived. We’re reminded of the powerful coalitions that helped transform American society and secured landmark legislation like the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act of 1964 and 1965.
We salute all of the men and women of Freedom Summer 1964; they represent the strength and courage of the human spirit.
In honor of Andy and other Freedom Fighters, we are launching a virtual and real-time call to action that celebrates the watershed moments in the Civil Rights Movement and asks each of us to answer this important question: “How can I ForwardFreedom in 2014?”
This year, The AGF will create online and offline experiences that commemorate the work of Civil Rights heroes and challenge today’s hero citizenry to forward freedom.
Help us discover what freedom means in the 21st century and what we, as citizens, can do to advance it. Join us as we celebrate the courageous actions of Freedom Summer 1964 and ForwardFreedom in 2014. Take the first step by sharing this post with your social media networks using the hashtags #ForwardFreedom and #FF14. And stay tuned for more exciting ways to #BeAHero – we will have contests, events, blogs and more coming your way!
About the Author: Sylvia Golbin-Goodman is the Executive Director of The Andrew Goodman Foundation and a member of its Board of Trustees. She leads the Foundation’s programming and developed the Hidden Heroes Awards.