Three civil rights activists will speak at a panel discussion—On Freedom’s Front Line: Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement Speak Out—at UC San Diego on Friday at noon. San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, James Garrett and Carroll Waymon will each share their own experiences from the Civil Rights movement.
The event is free and open to the public. It is being held in the Seuss Room at Geisel Library on UCSD's campus. Register to attend the event online.
Refreshments will be served.
UCSD History Professor Daniel Widener will moderate the discussion. The university provided the following bios for the speakers:
James Garrett, an early activist in the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, directed the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) offices in Watts and Hollywood (1965). As a student, he founded the first Black Student Union at San Francisco State University. A retired scholar and legal consultant who holds JD and PhD degrees, he continues to work in human rights organizing and advocacy.
Dr. Carrol Waymon was the founder and first director of the Citizens Interracial Committee (CIC), San Diego’s first human relations agency. When Waymon came to San Diego in 1964, conditions in the city were so intolerant that he branded it the “Mississippi of the West.” Among his committee’s achievements: the removal of restricted covenants so that African Americans and other people of color could live anywhere they wanted in San Diego; and writing the first Equal Opportunity ordinances for the city and county, opening up opportunities for employment. In 2013, Waymon was named a San Diego Civil Rights Hero honoree.
Bob Filner, City of San Diego Mayor, was only an 18-year old student at Cornell University when he joined the Freedom Rides in Nashville. In 1963, he was arrested in Mississippi on a Freedom Ride, and spent several weeks in the Mississippi State Penitentiary. After receiving his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1969, Filner moved to San Diego and embarked on a 20-year long teaching career at San Diego State University. Always the activist, he warned his students that their “grand” thoughts were futile unless they put them into action to help people and improve the world. Filner went on to serve in a variety of elected positions, including San Diego City Council, the U.S. Congress, and now Mayor of San Diego.