(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.
The conference is dedicated to sharing recent knowledge and experiences gained in the area of Big Data by researchers in academia, industry and the government sectors within the areas of business, national security, infrastructure, healthcare and visualization.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, via webcast, will examine America’s economic, political and security relations with China during CHINA Town Hall, an 80-city live discussion and Q&A on China and Sino-American relations.
Building Building, Richard Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus
The African American Studies program proudly presents William "Cruz" Shaw, San Antonio City Councilman and UTSA Alumnus. Event is free and open to the public.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
The graduate fair is an opportunity for the UTSA student body and local San Antonio community to learn about graduate education opportunities. The event is free and open to the public.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (1.104), Main Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA students to "Pizza With The Prez." Come grab a slice of pizza and take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President. Pizza while supplies last.
Frio Street Building, Food Court Commons Area, Downtown Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA faculty and staff to "Tacos With Taylor." Take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President at any one of these casual meet and greets.
Biotechnology, Science and Engineering Building atrium, Main Campus
The College of Engineering Student Council and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce host this fun and education event. Erika Camacho is the keynote speaker. Children and families are welcome.
East Campus Parking Lot, Valero Way, Main Campus
UTSA Arbor Day event where volunteers will plant trees and give away 100 sapling trees to neighbors in the surrounding communities.
Brackenridge Ave. Lot 5, 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.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.