12th Circuit participates in diversity event
The Boxser Diversity Initiative presented “The Freedom Riders; Their Relevancy Today” November 16, on the campus of New College of Florida.
The sold-out event celebrated the legacy of the 1961 Freedom Riders and contrasted that movement with the modern movements for social justice and racial equality.
The panel discussion was preceded by a performance of the Booker High School “Jet Stream” vocal group and a short film tribute produced by Manatee Educational Television.
The panel featured Ray Arsenault, who wrote “Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice” that was the basis of the award-winning PBS program of the same name.
The panel also included Ellen Ziskind, an original freedom rider who was imprisoned in the infamous Parchman Prison in Mississippi for her civil rights activities, and Michael Jeffries, author, lecturer, and professor of American studies at Wellesley College.
The panel was moderated by 12th Circuit Judge Charles E. Williams, a recipient of the Sarasota County Branch NAACP’s 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the 2014 C.L. McKaig Award, in recognition and appreciation of his “tireless dedication to promoting the ideals of equality, justice, and professionalism.”