Film Screening:  "Freedom Summer" 

Monday, Jan. 19, 2015

4:30 p.m.

Axinn 232

During the summer of 1964, the nation's eyes were riveted on Mississippi. Over 10 memorable weeks known as Freedom Summer, more than 700 student volunteers joined with organizers and local African Americans in an historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in the nation's most segregated state. Working together, they canvassed for voter registration, created Freedom Schools, and established the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, with the goal of challenging the segregationist state Democratic Party at the national convention in Atlantic City. The campaign was marked by sustained and deadly violence, including the notorious murders of three civil rights workers, countless beatings, the burning of 35 churches, and the bombing of 70 homes and Freedom Houses.  Produced by PBS, 2014, 55 minutes.

Sponsored by the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, which will lead an alternative spring break trip to Montgomery, Alabama, this spring to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Selma-Montgomery civil rights march.  To learn more about joining the trip, check out go/Montgomery.

To learn more about the film, click here.



Alternative Spring Break Trip to Montgomery, Alabama

In March 2015, the Scott Center hosted an alternative spring break service trip to Montogmery, Alabama. Sponsored by the college and generous friends and alumni, the trip gave students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to see Civil Rights landmarks, meet people who had participated in the struggles of the 1960s, and do some direct community service.

Read blog posts from the trip here.

Click here to see a slide show.

Read coverage by the College Newsroom here.

The trip marked the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, which played an important role in confronting the injustices facing African Americans, especially in the South. It occurred between the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  20 Middlebury College students participated in that march, and this trip honors their activism.

The trip included:

  • Hands-on community service work with Habitat for Humanity;
  • Visits to local historic sites, civil rights organizations and religious institutions, all of which played significant roles in the Civil Rights movement;
  • Conversations with guest speakers and among ourselves to deepen our understanding of this important time in American Civil Rights history;
  • Exploration of today's civil rights challenges and plans for our own activist responses to them.

On March 31, the Scott Center presented a program called "The Civil Rights Struggle 50 Years Later In Movement and Word: What Was, What Is, and What Should Be." The program included dance pieces choreographed by Assistant Professor of Dance Christal Brown, and brief personal remarks by Professors Larry Yarbrough, Bill Hart, and J Finley.  Middlebury graduates who went to Montgomery in 1965 shared their memories, and students who participated in this year's trip spoke about their experiences.

Click here for a videorecording of the entire March 31 program.





Civil Rights Act of 1964

This act bars recipients of federal funds from excluding persons from federally supported programs on the basis of their race, sex, color, national origin, or limited proficiency with English. The College—and any subrecipients of federal awards to or other agreements with the College—must keep an Assurance of Compliance on file that says the institution will immediately act as necessary to meet the objectives of this statute.

Violation of the assurance could result in loss of all federal funding.