2015 International Women of Courage

03/03/2015

Intl Women of Courage Awards

Established in 2007, the annual Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award honors women around the globe who have exemplified exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress, often at great personal risk. This is the only Department of State award that pays tribute to emerging women leaders worldwide.

First Lady Michelle Obama and The State Department honor a group of extraordinary women with the International Women of Courage Award on March 5, 2015. The award recognizes women around the world who have shown exceptional leadership in advocating for women’s rights and empowerment, often at great personal risk.

.

2015 International Women of Courage Awardees

Captain Niloofar Rahmani, Afghan Air Force (Afghanistan)

Ms. Nadia Sharmeen, journalist, women’s rights activist (Bangladesh)

Ms. Rosa Julieta Montaño Salvatierra, Founder and Director, Oficina Jurídica para la Mujer (Bolivia)

Ms. May Sabe Phyu, Director, Gender Equality Network (Burma)

Ms. Béatrice Epaye, President, Fondation Voix du Coeur (Central African Republic)

Ms. Marie Claire Tchecola, nurse, Ebola survivor and activist (Guinea)

Ms. Sayaka Osakabe, Founder and Representative, Matahara Net (Japan)

Ms. Arbana Xharra, Editor-in-Chief, Zeri (Kosovo)

Ms. Tabassum Adnan, Founder, Khwendo Jirga (Pakistan)

Ms. Majd Chourbaji, External Relations Director, Women Now for Development Centers (Syria)

.

March 5, 2015 – 1:00 PM ET
2015 International Women of Courage Award 
Presented by U.S. State Department Deputy Secretary Higginbottom
Dean Acheson Auditorium, U.S. Department of State

#womenofcourage

.

US Women’s Rights Movement Timeline 1848 – 2009 

PBO_Womens_Quote_lrg

.

WH Council on Women and Girls
* Blog
White House Support
Resources
Data & Fact Sheets

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/cwg
Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Democrats Abroad

02/27/2015

Democrats_AbroadDemocrats Abroad pledge

Democrats Abroad was established on Mar 1, 1964.  Democrats Abroad is the official Democratic Party arm for the millions of Americans living outside the United States. They work to advance the principles of our Party by spreading the Democratic message to US voters in other countries and encouraging them to vote for Democratic candidates back home.

Democrats Abroad has committees throughout Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. These Country Committees keep Americans abroad informed of their rights and help them participate in the U.S. political process. A support office is maintained in Washington, D.C.

American Democrats living outside of the United States may participate but must first join Democrats Abroad. The online membership form is located on the web site https://www.democratsabroad.org/user/register. Members will receive information on how they may participate in the Democrats Abroad Global Primary.

Democrats Abroad is recognized as a “state” Party by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and is represented on the DNC by eight voting members, as well as at the quadrennial Democratic National Convention.

For more: https://www.democratsabroad.org/

.

Facebook: DemsAbroad

Twitter: DemsAbroad

Vote Every Election

“in the last election — and I want to speak particularly the young people here — in the last election, a little over one-third of eligible voters voted. One-third!

Two-thirds of the people who have the right to vote — because of the struggles of previous generations, had the right to vote — stayed home. I’m willing to bet that there are young people who have family members who are at risk of the existing immigration system who still didn’t vote.

MR. DIAZ-BALART: Mixed-status families. There are millions of them.

THE PRESIDENT: Who still did not vote. And so my question, I think, to everybody — not just to the immigrant community, but the country as a whole — why are you staying at home? (Applause.) Why are you not participating? There are war-torn countries, people full of poverty, who still voted, 60, 70 percent. If here in the United States of America, we voted at 60 percent, 70 percent, it would transform our politics. Our Congress would be completely different. We would have already passed comprehensive immigration reform. (Applause.) It would have already been done.

So I, as President, have the responsibility to set out a vision in terms of where we need to go. I have the responsibility to execute the laws faithfully, and that includes making sure that what’s within my power I am doing everything I can to make the immigration system smarter. But everybody here and everybody watching also has responsibilities. And one of those responsibilities is voting for people who advocate on behalf of the things that you care about.

And staying home is not an option. And being cynical is not an option. And just waiting for somebody else — whether it’s the President, or Congress, or somebody — José — to get it done, that’s not enough.”

2/25/15 President Obama speaking at Telemundo/MSNBC Immigration Town Hall
Florida International University, Miami, Florida

.

Democrat Donkey- thumbnail

VOTE SMART & VOTE DEMOCRAT

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


The Disintegration of DOMA – 2nd Anniversary

02/21/2015

LGBT flag_lrg

PBO Strive for Complete Equality for LGBT

Obama administration urges U.S. Supreme Court to strike down DOMA

‘Gay and lesbian people have been subject to a significant history of discrimination in this country’

February 22, 2013 lgbtqnation Staff Reports

The Obama administration on Friday filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing why it considers the federal Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional.

Filed in United States v. Windsor, a case challenging Section 3 of DOMA, the administration said “gay and lesbian people have been subject to a significant history of discrimination in this country,” and argued that laws targeting individuals based on their sexual orientation should face additional scrutiny by courts reviewing them.

In the brief, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli asked the court to uphold a federal appeals court ruling that found DOMA to be unconstitutional:

Section 3 of DOMA violates the fundamental constitutional guarantee of equal protection. The law denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite-sex couples. Because this discrimination cannot be justified as substantially furthering any important governmental interest, Section 3 is unconstitutional.

This case deals with Edith Windsor, who was forced to pay $363,000 in estate taxes in 2009 upon the death of her spouse, Thea Spyer. The two had lived as a couple for 44 years and married in Canada in 2007. Because her decades-long partner was a woman, the federal government did not recognize the same-sex marriage in legal terms, even though their home state of New York did.

Section 3 of DOMA, which bars legally married same-sex couples from any federal benefits or programs based on marriage, has been found unconstitutional in eight federal courts, including the First and Second Circuit Court of Appeals, on issues including bankruptcy, public employee benefits, estate taxes, and immigration.

The brief also mentions Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage, and similar measures in other states as evidence of continued discrimination against gays and lesbians.

For more: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/02/obama-administration-urges-u-s-surpeme-court-to-strike-down-doma/

.

High court strikes down federal marriage provision

6/26/13 By MARK SHERMAN | Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that legally married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.

The court invalidated a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that has prevented married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people. The vote was 5-4.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion.

Same-sex marriage has been adopted by 12 states and the District of Columbia. Another 18,000 couples were married in California during a brief period when same-sex unions were legal there.

The court has yet to release its decision on California’s ban on same-sex marriage.

“Under DOMA, same-sex married couples have their lives burdened, by reason of government decree, in visible and public ways,” Kennedy said.

“DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal,” he said.

He was joined by the court’s four liberal justices.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/high-court-strikes-down-federal-marriage-provision-140557846.html

.

June 28, 2013

Statement by the President on the Extension of Federal Employee Benefits

Today my Administration announced that, for the first time in history, we will be making important federal employee benefits, including healthcare and retirement benefits, available to eligible married gay and lesbian couples and their families.

This is a critical first step toward implementing this week’s landmark Supreme Court decision declaring that all married couples –gay and straight — should be treated equally under federal law. Thousands of gays and lesbians serve our country every day in the federal government. They, and their spouses and children, deserve the same respect and protection as every other family.

Under the leadership of Attorney General Holder, we will continue to move as quickly as possible to fully implement the Court’s decision.


Obama admin acts quickly post-DOMA

Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:54 PM EDT By Steve Benen – maddowblog

After the Supreme Court’s decision on Wednesday striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, Obama administration officials vowed to move quickly to implement the ruling throughout the federal government.

And while I believed them, I didn’t realize they’d move this fast (thanks to my colleague Cory Gnazzo for the heads-up). Chris Geidner reports:

“[T]he United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will now be able to extend benefits to Federal employees and annuitants who have legally married a spouse of the same sex,” OPM acting director Elaine Kaplan writes to the heads of executive departments and agencies today.

What does this mean in practical terms? The Human Rights Campaign added:

The United States Office of Personnel Management has begun the process of extending federal rights and benefits to married gay and lesbian federal employees and their families…. Now that the federal government recognizes legally married same-sex couples, federal employees’ spouses and their families may now access health insurance benefits, life insurance, dental and vision insurance and retirement benefits.

..

Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons

Secretary of State John Kerry
Washington, DC
February 23, 2015

I could not be more proud to announce Randy Berry as the first-ever Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons.

We looked far and wide to find the right American official for this important assignment. Randy’s a leader. He’s a motivator. But most importantly for this effort, he’s got vision. Wherever he’s served – from Nepal to New Zealand, from Uganda to Bangladesh, from Egypt to South Africa, and most recently as Consul General in Amsterdam – Randy has excelled. He’s a voice of clarity and conviction on human rights. And I’m confident that Randy’s leadership as our new Special Envoy will significantly advance efforts underway to move towards a world free from violence and discrimination against LGBT persons.

Defending and promoting the human rights of LGBT persons is at the core of our commitment to advancing human rights globally – the heart and conscience of our diplomacy. That’s why we’re working to overturn laws that criminalize consensual same-sex conduct in countries around the world. It’s why we’re building our capacity to respond rapidly to violence against LGBT persons, and it’s why we’re working with governments, civil society, and the private sector through the Global Equality Fund to support programs advancing the human rights of LGBT persons worldwide.

Too often, in too many countries, LGBT persons are threatened, jailed, and prosecuted because of who they are or who they love. Too many governments have proposed or enacted laws that aim to curb freedom of expression, association, religion, and peaceful protest. More than 75 countries still criminalize consensual same-sex activity.

At the same time, and often with our help, governments and other institutions, including those representing all religions, are taking steps to reaffirm the universal human rights of all persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. So while this fight is not yet won, this is no time to get discouraged. It’s time to stay active. It’s time to assert the equality and dignity of all persons, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity. And with Randy helping to lead our efforts, I am confident that’s exactly what we can and will do.

US State Dept Special Envoy Randy Berry

US State Dept Special Envoy Randy Berry

.
“My general view is that transgender persons, just like gays and lesbians, are deserving of equal treatment under the law. And that’s a basic principle,” the president said. “My sense is that the Supreme Court is about to make a shift, one that I welcome, which is to recognize that — having hit a critical mass of states that have recognized same-sex marriage — it doesn’t make sense for us to now have this patchwork system and that it’s time to recognize that, under the equal protection clause of the United States, same-sex couples should have the same rights as anybody else.”

2/17/15 President Obama interview with BuzzFeed

.

US LGBT Rights Timeline 1903-2014 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

lgbt_obama_logo-sml

 

 White House – LGBT

LGBT Democrats Facebook

Forward For Equality_sml


Pres Obama Designates Pullman Natl Monument, Brown’s Canyon Natl Monument & Honouliuli Natl Monument

02/18/2015

National Monument in the United States is a protected area that is similar to a National Park except that the President of the United States can quickly declare an area of the United States to be a National Monument without the approval of Congress. National monuments receive less funding and afford fewer protections to wildlife than national parks. However, areas within and extending beyond national parks, monuments, and national forests can be part of wilderness areas, which have an even greater degree of protection than a national park would alone, although wilderness areas managed by the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management often allow hunting and grazing.

National monuments can be managed by one of several federal agencies: the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, or Bureau of Land Management. National monuments can also be privately managed.

National monuments can be so designated through the power of the Antiquities Act of 1906. President Theodore Roosevelt used the act to declare Devils Tower in Wyoming as the first national monument. He thought Congress was moving too slowly and it would be ruined by the time they made it a national park.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Monument_(United

.

February 19, 2015

FACT SHEET: Launching the Every Kid in a Park Initiative and Designating New National Monuments

As part of President Obama’s commitment to protect our Nation’s unique outdoor spaces and ensure that every American has the opportunity to visit and enjoy them, today he will launch an “Every Kid in a Park” initiative that will provide all fourth grade students and their families with free admission to National Parks and other federal lands and waters for a full year. He will also announce the creation of three new National Monuments across the country.

The President will make the announcements near the site of the historic Pullman town in Chicago, a location iconic for its history of labor unrest and civil rights advances, which will be the City’s first National Park Service (NPS) unit. He also will announce that he will designate Honouliuli National Monument in Hawaii, the site of an internment camp where Japanese American citizens, resident immigrants, and prisoners of war were held captive during World War II, and Browns Canyon National Monument in Colorado, an historic site of extraordinary beauty with world-class recreational opportunities that attract visitors from around the globe. Together, these monuments will help tell the story of significant events in American history and protect unique natural resources for the benefit of all Americans.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/02/19/fact-sheet-launching-every-kid-park-initiative-and-designating-new-natio

Pullman Historical District

"Oriental Limited dining car" hand painted photograph by Great Northern Railway . Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

“Oriental Limited dining car” hand painted photograph by Great Northern Railway . Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

.

Pullman Porter – Unionization

The Order of Sleeping Car Conductors was organized on February 20, 1918, in Kansas City, Missouri. Members had to be white males. Because the order did not admit blacks, A. Philip Randolph began organizing the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.Using the motto “Fight or Be Slaves”, on August 25, 1925, 500 porters met in Harlem and decided to make an effort to organize. Under Randolph’s leadership the first black union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, was formed and slowly working conditions and salaries improved.

By forming the first black labor union the Pullman porters also laid the groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement, which began in the 1950s. Union organizer and former Pullman porter E. D. Nixon played a crucial role in organizing the landmark Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama in 1955. It was he who bailed Rosa Parks out of jail after she refused to move on the bus, and who selected her as the figure to build the boycott around.

By the 1960s, between the decline of the passenger rail system and the cultural shifts in American society, the Pullman porters’ contribution became obscured, becoming for some in the African American community a symbol of subservience to cultural and economic domination.

The Pullman Company went out of business in 1969, and the railroads no longer followed the practice of hiring only black men as porters. In 1978, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters merged with the larger Brotherhood of Railway and Airline Clerks.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pullman_porter#Unionization

.
President Obama to make Chicago district a national monument

February 10, 2015 Mary Wisniewski – Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will designate part of Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood, a site famous in the history of urban planning, labor and the civil rights movement, as a national monument, the White House said on Tuesday.

Obama once worked as a community advocate in the neighborhood on the far south side of the nation’s third largest city.

The district’s brick homes and ornate public buildings were built in the late 1800s by industrialist George Pullman

as a blue-collar utopia to house workers for his railroad sleep car factory. An 1894 strike by workers led to bloody conflicts.

Pullman car workers later organized as the first African-American-led union chartered by the American Federation of Labor. It is credited with helping build the nation’s black middle class.

“It is a place where people can commemorate, celebrate and learn from our past and discuss the future of our nation,” Michael A. Shymanski, president of the Historic Pullman Foundation, said in a statement.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/president-obama-chicago-district-national-monument-173640537.html;_ylt=AwrTWf1rfd9UziUAMy3QtDMD

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Brown's Canyon, Arkansas River, CO

Brown’s Canyon, Arkansas River, CO

Browns Canyon National Monument in Colorado:
This monument will protect a stunning section of Colorado’s upper Arkansas River Valley. Located in Chaffee County near the town of Salida, Colorado, the 21,586-acre monument features rugged granite cliffs, colorful rock outcroppings, and mountain vistas that are home to a diversity of plants and wildlife, including bighorn sheep and golden eagles. Members of Congress, local elected officials, conservation advocates, and community members have worked for more than a decade to protect the area, which hosts world-class recreational opportunities that attract visitors from around the globe for hiking, whitewater rafting, hunting and fishing. In addition to supporting this vibrant outdoor recreation economy, the designation will protect the critical watershed and honor existing water rights and uses, such as grazing and hunting. The monument will be cooperatively managed by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management and USDA’s National Forest Service.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Honouliuli Internment Camp, Kunia, Hawai'i

Honouliuli Internment Camp, Kunia, Hawai’i

Obama to designate Honouliuli Internment Camp as national monument

Feb 18, 2015 10:01 AM PST By Melanie Yamaguchi – HawaiiNewsNow

KUNIA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) –

A significant symbol of Japanese-American history, hidden deep within an overgrown gulch in Kunia, will soon gain more recognition as President Barack Obama plans to designate the Honouliuli Internment Camp as a national historic monument.

Honouliuli, one of Hawai’i’s largest and longest-used World War II internment camps, was constructed in 1943 to hold more than 300 internees and 4,000 prisoners of war. Dubbed “jigoku danji” or “hell valley” by inhabitants, Honouliuli is often looked back on as a dark period in history when thousands of Japanese-Americans in Hawaii and across the country were forced into internment camps under excruciating conditions during World War II.

The overgrown gulch where Honouliuli resides has kept the 120-acre site hidden from view and largely untouched. However, Thursday’s designation announcement will mark a major historical change, putting the internment camp under the management of the National Park Service to help preserve its history and ultimately shed a light on the untold stories of the site.

The announcement has been long anticipated by some members of Congress and other entities – such as the Japanese Cultural Center and Japanese American Citizens League – who have been pushing for the designation.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono said on an interview on Hawaii News Now Sunrise that many people in Hawaii still don’t know there was an internment camp here, but the designation will provide resources necessary to be presented in the way it should be.

For more: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/28139552/president-obama-to-designate-honouliuli-internment-camp-as-national-monument

.

  • Feb 19,1942  Executive Order 9066, which allowed local military commanders to designate “military areas” as “exclusion zones,” from which “any or all persons may be excluded.” This power was used to evacuate and relocate Japanese-Americans to internment camps during World War II
  • Feb 19, 1999 Justice Department’s acknowledges, apologizes, and makes restitution for the fundamental injustice of the evacuation, relocation, and internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II

.

Thursday, February 19, 2015
President Obama designates new national monuments: 
The Pullman National MonumentChicago, Illinois
Brown’s Canyon National Monument, Colorado
Honouliuli National Monument, Kunia, Hawai’i

.

National Monuments Established by President Obama

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Sexual Abuse is VIOLENCE and has to STOP

02/08/2015

How to stop sexual assault
In Grammy video, Obama says of rape, ‘It’s not okay – and it has to stop’

February 8 at 8:00 PM By Juliet Eilperin – washingtonpost

Viewers of the Grammy Awards Sunday night will see a video featuring President Obama, according to White House officials, in which he urges Americans to take responsibility for stopping sexual violence, saying, “It’s not okay – and it has to stop.”

The public service announcement represents the latest installment in the White House’s ongoing “SExual A,” campaign, which aims to end sexual assaults on college campuses. The administration began the effort in September, with the support of major college sports leagues and prominent celebrities.

Obama is asking the artists featured at the Grammys to ask their fans to make the same pledge that these prominent figures have made, along with students from more than 200 colleges and universities, several collegiate sports organizations, and some private firms. He notes that nearly 1 in 5 women in the U.S. has experienced rape or attempted rape, and that more than 1 in 4 has suffered some form of domestic violence.

The administration has aggressively used Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender at schools that receive federal funding, to push institutions of higher education to reexamine their policies regarding sexual harassment and sexual assault. The Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights is investigating dozens of colleges and universities under the law. As of Dec. 24, it was looking at cases at 92 schools.

The campaign’s ads have been viewed online more than 4 million times and, through a partnership with iHeart Radio, have aired on more than 800 stations nationwide.

For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/02/08/in-grammy-video-obama-says-of-rape-its-not-okay-and-it-has-to-stop/

Domestic_Violence

Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, child abuse or intimate partner violence (IPV), can be broadly defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, friends or cohabitation. Domestic violence has many forms including physical aggression (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic deprivation.

Awareness, perception and documentation of domestic violence differs from country to country, and from era to era. Estimates are that only about a third of cases of domestic violence are actually reported in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, domestic violence is a serious, preventable public health problem affecting more than 32 million Americans, or over 10% of the U.S. population.

Office On Violence Against Women
http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/domviolence.htm

.

Natl Domestic Violence Hotline.

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


15th Amendment – 145th Anniversary

02/01/2015

15th_Amendment

 

The Fifteenth Amendment (Amendment XV) to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s “racecolor, or previous condition of servitude.” It was ratified on February 3, 1870, as the third and last of the Reconstruction Amendments.

In the final years of the American Civil War and the Reconstruction Era that followed, Congress repeatedly debated the rights of the millions of black former slaves. By 1869, amendments had been passed to abolish slavery and provide citizenship and equal protection under the laws, but the election of Ulysses S. Grant to the presidency in 1868 convinced a majority of Republicans that protecting the franchise of black voters was important for the party’s future. After rejecting more sweeping versions of a suffrage amendment, Congress proposed a compromise amendment banning franchise restrictions on the basis of race, color, or previous servitude on February 26, 1869. The amendment survived a difficult ratification fight and was adopted on March 30, 1870.

United States Supreme Court decisions in the late nineteenth century interpreted the amendment narrowly. From 1890 to 1910, most black voters in the South were effectively disenfranchised by new state constitutions and state laws incorporating such obstacles as poll taxes and discriminatory literacy tests, from which white voters were exempted by grandfather clauses. A system of whites-only primaries and violent intimidation by white groups also suppressed black participation.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

"The first vote"  A.R. Waud.  Wood engraving. 1867. Prints & Photographs Division. Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-19234

“The first vote”
A.R. Waud.
Wood engraving. 1867.
Prints & Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:
LC-USZ62-19234

Our Documents, 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, National Archives and Records Administratio

American Treasures of the Library of Congress – The Fifteenth Amendment

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Greensboro Sit-Ins – 55th Anniversary

01/29/2015

Greensboro WoolworthGreensboro sit-ins

The Greensboro sit-ins were a series of nonviolent protests in 1960 which led to the Woolworth department store chain reversing its policy of racial segregation in the Southern United States.

While not the first sit-ins of the African-American Civil Rights Movement, the Greensboro sit-ins were an instrumental action, leading to increased national sentiment at a crucial period in US history. The primary event took place at the Greensboro, North Carolina Woolworth store, now the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

In August 1939, African-American attorney Samuel Wilbert Tucker organized a sit-in at the then-segregated Alexandria, Virginia library. In 1942, the Congress of Racial Equality sponsored sit-ins in Chicago, as they did in St. Louis in 1949 and Baltimore in 1952. A 1958 sit-in in Wichita, Kansas also was successful.

On February 1, 1960,at 4:30pm four students from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University sat down at the lunch counter inside the Woolworth store at 132 South Elm Street in Greensboro, North Carolina.The men, later known as the A&T Four or the Greensboro Four, went to Woolworth’s Store, bought toothpaste and other products from a desegregated counter at the store with no problems, and then were refused service from the segregated lunch counter, at the same store. Following store policy, the lunch counter staff refused to serve the African American men at the “whites only” counter and the store’s manager asked them to leave.

The four university freshmen – Joseph McNeilFranklin McCainEzell Blair, Jr. (later known as Jibreel Khazan), and David Richmond – stayed until the store closed.

The next day, more than twenty African American students who had been recruited from other campus groups came to the store to join the sit-in. Students from Bennett College, a college for African American women in Greensboro, joined the protest. White customers heckled the black students, who read books and studied to keep busy. The lunch counter staff continued to refuse service.

Newspaper reporters and a TV videographer covered the second day of peaceful demonstrations and others in the community learned of the protests. On the third day, more than 60 people came to the Woolworth store. A statement issued by Woolworth national headquarters said the company would “abide by local custom” and maintain its segregated policy.

More than 300 people took part on the fourth day. Organizers agreed to spread the sit-in protests to include the lunch counter at Greensboro’s Kress store.

As early as one week after the Greensboro sit-in had begun, students in other North Carolina towns launched their own sit-ins. Demonstrations spread to towns near Greensboro, including Winston-Salem, Durham, Raleigh, and Charlotte. Out-of-state towns like Lexington, Kentucky also saw protests.

The movement then spread to other Southern cities including Richmond, Virginia, and Nashville, Tennessee where the students of the Nashville Student Movement had been trained for a sit-in by civil rights activist James Lawson and had already started the process when Greensboro occurred. Although the majority of these protests were peaceful, there were instances where protests became violent. For example, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, tensions rose between blacks and whites and fights broke out. Another city where sit-ins occurred was Jackson, Mississippi. Students from Tougaloo College staged a sit-in on May 28, 1963. The incident is recorded in the autobiography of one of the members in attendance, Anne Moody. Moody described the treatment of the whites who were at the counter when they sat down, as well as the formation of the mob in the store and how they managed to finally leave the store.

As the sit-ins continued, tensions grew in Greensboro and students began a far-reaching boycott of stores that had segregated lunch counters. Sales at the boycotted stores dropped by a third, leading the stores’ owners to abandon their segregation policies. Black employees of Greensboro’s Woolworth store were the first to be served at the store’s lunch counter. This event occurred on Monday, July 25, 1960. The entire Woolworth was desegregated, serving blacks and whites alike, although Woolworth lunch counters in other Tennessee cities, such as Jackson, continued to be segregated until around 1965, despite many protests.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greensboro_sit-ins

.

National Park Service
The F.W. Woolworth Building on South Elm Street (the Northeast Shopping Center) is part of the Downtown Greensboro Historic District. The building currently houses the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.  http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/civilrights/nc1.htm

Smithsonian photos
Freedom Struggle – Sitting for Justice: Woolworth’s Lunch Counter

International Civil Rights Center & Museum
55th Anniversary of the Sit-Ins Gala
Saturday, January 31, 2015, 6:00 PM ET
Joseph S. Koury Convention Center, Greensboro, NC

http://www.sitinmovement.org/

.

US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1863-1963 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1964-2009 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 310 other followers