(July 9, 2014) -- UTSA senior biology major CaShonda Henderson, junior multidisciplinary studies major Brianna McCormick and political science graduate student Claudia Sanchez participated in an historic ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They were selected through a U.S. Department of Education program because of their work as new student leaders and civil rights activists.
The students met peers from around the country with similar passions for making a positive difference in solving pressing social issues. They traveled from Washington, D.C., to Richmond, Va., by bus with a group of civil rights luminaries including members of the original Freedom Riders.
"This experience was eye-opening, inspiring and breath-taking all at once," said McCormick. "It was a dream come true."
The closing ceremony was at the Virginia State Capitol Old House Chamber. In opening remarks, Governor Terry McAuliffe spoke of the tremendous impact of the Freedom Riders in the creation of the Civil Rights Act. Catherine Lhamon, Department of Education Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, gave the keynote address.
Henderson spoke with Freedom Riders Charles Person and Rev. Reginald Green about the dramatic impact they have on younger students by raising awareness of their potential to bring about change.
"I am already reaching out to other students and organizational contacts, and talking about how we can improve mentorship efforts for younger students, especially among males," said Henderson.
Henderson said that UTSA and San Antonio are important for the future of civil rights and social justice.
"As a school that promotes access and excellence for a diverse population, UTSA helps students 'find themselves' and connect with other students around issues greater than themselves," said Henderson.
The UTSA Student Leadership Center funded the travel for the two selected undergraduate students. Yvonne Peña, assistant dean of student affairs, said this was an important opportunity to support UTSA student participation in the historic event.
To apply for the 2015 Civil Rights and Social Justice Experience, visit the UTSA Student Leadership Center website or go to University Center Room 2.01.05 on the Main Campus.
This high school student exhibit features images, videos, interviews and writings that the students learned about while participating in "The Will to Adorn: African American Dress and the Aesthetics of Identity."
Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
UTSA has a greater focus in 2018 to serve the local community. Learn the many opportunities you can get involved.
Student Union, 1st floor corridor, Main Campus
Dr. Ricky Jones, professor and chair of the Department of Pan-African studies at the University of Louisville. He will share his expertise on the impact of African American history on today’s society.
Student Union, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
Come meet STEM recruiters in person from companies across the nation that have full-time, part-time and/or internship opportunities.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
The summit is an opportunity to create an open forum for the community to share ideas and perspectives on civic engagement.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
Meet recruiters in person from companies across the nation that have full-time and/or internship opportunities. Professional dress required.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
New exhibit of Latino and Latina artists is curated by Arturo Infante Almeida, art specialist and curator for the UTSA Art Collection. Opening Reception is Feb. 8; exhibit runs through June 10.
Centro de Artes Gallery, 102 S. Santa Rosa, San Antonio
The UTSA commnity is encouraged to get involved in this city-wide initiative to clean up the San Antonio area waterways. Roadsrunners will be cleaning up Maverick Creek on the west side of Main Campus.
Maverick Creek, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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