SNCC 50th Anniversary Logo

Program Overview
SNCC 50th Anniversary Conference
April 15-18, 2010
Raleigh, NC

Wednesday April 14, 2010

Registration and packet pick-up for those pre-registered was open at the Marriott Raleigh Crabtree Valley – the Conference hotel – from 1-9pm. Lunch vouchers, dinner tickets, and T-shirts were available for sale.

A Hospitality/Schmooze Room at the hotel was open till midnight for informal gathering.

A 60’s Welcome Party with music and snacks rocked at the hotel from 6:30-10:30pm.

Thursday April 15, 2010

Shuttle busses took conferees from the Marriott to Shaw University in the morning and back to the hotel in the late afternoon.

A “meet and greet lounge” was open at Shaw from 9am to 5pm each day of the Conference. Conference Registration Desk was open in Estey Hall starting 8am.

The first day’s programming focused on the founding and early years of SNCC.

The conference opened at 8:30am in Fletcher Hall with music and a visual remembrance of the founders of SNCC, our Statement of Purpose, and welcome remarks from Raleigh mayor Charles Meeker.

The morning’s Opening Plenary was moderated by Chuck McDew. Rev. William Barber, Chairman of the North Carolina NAACP introduced Julian Bond, whose talk was entitled “What We Did”.

Following a short break, the Conference broke into four workshops from 10:30am to Noon.

Workshop #1 – “Early Student Movement Philosophy and Activism”, moderator: Muriel Tillinghast
Workshop #2 – “From Student Activists to Field Organizers”, moderator: Charles Cobb.
Workshop #3 – “SNCC Builds an Organization” moderator: Karen Spellman.
Workshop #4 – “The Role of Shaw University in the Movement”

Lunch at the Shaw University Gymnasium featured as its main speaker Rev. James Lawson, who was the keynote speaker at SNCC’s founding conference in April 1960.

Following lunch, there were 3 more breakout sessions from 2:15-3:45pm:

Workshop #1 – “The Societal Response to SNCC”, moderator: Larry Rubin.
Workshop #2 – “Up South – Friends of SNCC, Northern Student Movement, and SDS” moderator: Mike Miller
Workshop #3 – “More than a Hamburger: Civil Liberties, the Vietnam War, and Taking on the Establishment” moderator: Courtland Cox.

Following a break, there were four more breakout sessions from 4-5:30pm:

Workshop #1 – “Moving on Mississippi: The early days of organizing and the Summer Project” moderator: Owen Brooks
Workshop #2 – “Alabama: Black Power, Selma, Tuskegee, and Lowndes County” moderator: Ruby Sales
Workshop #3 – “Southwest Georgia: The Light of Freedom, voter registration and political organization” moderator: Don Harris
Workshop #4 – “Arkansas, Cambridge, MD, and Danville, VA: Everybody Say Freedom” moderator: Avon Rollins

In the evening there were several concurrent programs at the Marriott:

- “Meet the Authors”, a Book and Author Fair from 7-9pm; 35 authors of books about SNCC in one room! A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity;
- The play “Education of a Harvard Guy” by John Perdew was presented from 7-9pm;
- A film program, curated by Judy Richardson, showed movement films from 7-11pm;
- The Hospitality/Schmooze room was open for informal gathering ‘til midnight;

Friday April 16, 2010

The conference plenary opening session began in the Shaw University Chapel at 9am with music and a photo montage “Recognizing and Remembering the Student Movement”. Connie Curry gave the call to order.

The morning’s breakout sessions from 9:45 – 11:45am were:

Workshop #1 – “The Impact and Influence of SNCC on American Society 1960 to 1968”, moderator: Vincent Harding.
Workshop #2 – “What was SNCC? How did it Evolve Over the Years? Why Did the Organization Cease to Exist?” moderator: Joyce Ladner.
Workshop #3 – “Political Impact of SNCC 1964-1984”, moderator: Ivanhoe Donaldson.

Lunch in the Shaw University gymnasium featured a talk by Harry Belafonte, who was introduced by Connie Curry.

The afternoon’s first break-out sessions from 2:15-3:45pm were:

Workshop #1 – “Depictions of the Movement in Popular Culture”, moderator: Jennifer Lawson.
Workshop #2 – “Black Power/Education/Pan Africanism” moderator Courtland Cox.
Workshop #3 – ““The Role of the MFDP”. Moderator: Lawrence Guyot

In addition, the North Carolina NAACP hosted a program on their effort to preserve the homeplace of Ms. Ella Baker; moderated by Rev. William Barber, president, North Carolina NAACP. Dr. Carolyn Brockington, great-niece of Ella Baker, spoke.

Following a break, the next sessions from 4-5:30pm were:

Workshop #1 – “Women Leaders and Organizers”, moderator: Fran Beal.
Workshop #2 – “The Black Church and the Black Struggle”, moderator: Rev. Bernard Lafayette.
Workshop #3 – “Highlander, SSOC and Organizing in the White Community” moderator Bob Zellner
Workshop #4 – “The Influence of SNCC on the Black Art Movement”, moderator: A.B. Spellman.

In the evening at the Marriott:

-From 7-11pm there was a second evening of civil rights movement films, curated by Judy Richardson;
-The Hospitality/Schmooze Room at the Marriott wasopen until midnight.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday’s programming focused on youth.
The theme for the day is “Come Let us Build a New World Together”.

The morning program began at First Baptist Church of Raleigh with the introduction of the children of SNCC veterans by their parents. The morning’s plenary speaker was Dr. Joyce Ladner, who was introduced by her sister Dorie Ladner.

The first morning panel features the children of SNCC veterans. Moderator: Maisha Moses

Following lunch in the Church’s Family Life Center , Rev. David Forbes introduced Congressman John Lewis for the keynote talk. Following Rep. Lewis, Attorney General of the United States Eric H. Holder, Jr. addressed the Conference.

Busses took the conference back to Shaw, where three afternoon Breakout Sessions featured young activists from around the country, including representatives from the Children’s Defense Fund, Freedom Schools, The Gathering, The Algebra Project, Education for Liberation, Pen or Pencil. 

Breakout #1: “Cradle to Prison” was moderated by Benetta Standly.
Breakout #2: “YPP” was moderated by Omo Moses.
Breakout #3: “Actions for the New World” was moderated by Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson.

Dick Gregory presented a program of political humor.

From 4 - 6pm a program to remember and honor the SNCC martyrs and heroes who have passed entitled “In Remembrance”, was moderated by Charles Sherrod in the Shaw Chapel.

At 6:15pm we gathered in the Shaw Gymnasium for dinner. The dinner speaker was Danny Glover.

After the dinner we were led across the street to the Fletcher Hall by the Hot 8 Brass Band from New Orleans. The Evening Musical Program “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize” featured movement song leaders, the Freedom Singers, Len Chandler, Harry Belafonte, Bernice Johnson Reagan, and Guy & Candie Carawan.

Back at the Marriott, the Hospitality/Schmooze room was open until Midnight.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The morning program at the Shaw University gymnasium opened at 9:30am with music and call to order by Judy Richardson.

Our guest speaker at the 10am Plenary was Robert Moses, who was introduced by Dave Dennis.

The Farewell Ceremony from 11am to Noon “Solidarity of Past, Present and Future” was presented by Bernice Reagon.

Shuttle busses returned conferees to the Marriott and the airport at 12:30pm.