WQPT invites you to hear original Freedom Rider Diane Nash

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

WQPT, Quad Cities PBS invites the public to a special screening of the documentary “Freedom Riders” and to hear Diane Nash, one of the leaders of the Freedom Rides Civil Rights movement, at the Martin Luther King Center in Rock Island Illinois on Oct. 15, 2011 at 10:00 am. Seating will be on a first come, first served basis. The event is free to the public.

In April WQPT held a similar event at the Putnam Museum and IMAX Theatre for junior high and high school students with special guests Dion Diamond and Joan Trumpaur-Mulholland, both Freedom Riders. “The event was so successful that the community committee we had formed felt we should do it once again,” said WQPT Chief Development Officer, Jamie Lange. Diane Nash will speak at the morning event at the Martin Luther King Center and again at the Statewide Illinois NAACP banquet at the i wireless Center in the evening on Oct. 15.

Ms. Nash was featured on Oprah in May 2011 when the program celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides. Diane Nash emerged as one of the most respected student leaders of the sit-in movement in Nashville, Tennessee. Nash attended Howard University before transferring to Nashville’s Fisk University in the fall of 1959. Shocked by the extent of segregation she encountered in Tennessee, she was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in April 1960. In Feb. 1961 she served jail time in solidarity with the "Rock Hill Nine"—nine students imprisoned after a lunch counter sit-in. When the students learned of the bus burnings in Alabama, Nash argued that it was their duty to continue. "It was clear to me that if we allowed the Freedom Ride to stop at that point, just after so much violence had been inflicted, the message would have been sent that all you have to do to stop a nonviolent campaign is inflict massive violence," says Nash in Freedom Riders.

For more information on the Freedom Riders, log on to wqpt.org. WQPT will re-air the documentary on Tuesday Oct. 18 at 7:00 p.m.

The event at the Martin Luther King Center has been made possible by the Rock Island Community Foundation, Illinois Humanities Council, Hotel Blackhawk, Act II Transportation and the Rock Island NAACP.

WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University in Moline.