Civil Rights pioneer to give presentation

Diane Nash
Diane Nash

A Chicago native who became one of the pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement will give a presentation at Grand Valley State University as part of the Black History Month celebration.

Diane Nash’s involvement in the movement began in 1959 when she was a student at Fisk University, where she became the chairperson of the student sit-in movement in Nashville. In 1961, she coordinated the Freedom Ride from Birmingham, Ala., to Jackson, Miss., a story that is documented in the recent PBS film “Freedom Riders.” She was appointed to a national committee by President John F. Kennedy that promoted passages of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Diane Nash
Tuesday, February 28
Noon-1 p.m.
Kirkhof Center, room 2204
Allendale Campus

The event is free and open to the public.

Nash is the recipient of numerous awards including the Distinguished American Award from the John F. Kennedy Library and the LBJ Award for Leadership in Civil Rights from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum. She received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Fisk University and most recently delivered the 2009 Slavery Remembrance Day Memorial Lecture in Liverpool, England.

Her work has been cited in numerous books, documentaries, magazines and newspaper articles, and she has appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Spike Lee’s Four Little Girls” and the PBS film “Eyes on the Prize: American’s Civil Rights Years 1954-1965.”

The event is in conjunction with Grand Valley’s Office of Multicultural Affairs’ Professional of Color Series and is sponsored by Grand Valley’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, WGVU Media and Inclusion and Equity Division. For more information, visit



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