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Discussion with Leaders of The U.S. National Council of Elders

September 12, 2012 @ 2:15 pm - 3:45 pm

On August 22, 2012, over two dozen veterans of the Civil Rights, Women’s, Peace, Environmental, LGBTQ, Immigrant Justice, Labor Rights and other movements of the last sixty years came together to launch the Greensboro Declaration on the profound issues facing this country that are being largely ignored in the election campaign. They came together in Greensboro, North Carolina, the birthplace of the sit-in movement in 1960, to birth a movement that can share the torch of freedom, justice, peace, and non-violent action with those who have risen anew in the 21st century.

They call themselves the National Council of Elders.

At 11 am on September 12, members of the U.S. National Council of Elders will present the Greensboro Declaration at the Martin Luther King Memorial — at the NW corner of the Tidal Basin at the intersection of West Basin Drive, SW & Independence Avenue, SW.

At 2:15 pm on September 12, five of them will lead a discussion at the Institute for Policy Studies.

Bernice Johnson Reagon was a member of the original SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee). She led in making powerful music a part of the Freedom Movement, then and ever since. She has excelled in the realms of scholarship, composition, and performance. She is Professor Emeritus of History at American University, Curator Emeritus at the Smithsonian?s National Museum of American History, and served as the 2002-2004 Cosby Chair of Fine Arts at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. Her major works include: Wade in the Water: African American Sacred Music Traditions and Africans in America: America?s Journey Through Slavery. She was a Visiting Fellow at IPS in the 1980s.

Rabbi Arthur Waskow founded (1983) and directs The Shalom Center. His most recent book, co-authored with R. Phyllis Berman, is Freedom Journeys: The Tale of Exodus & Wilderness Across Millennia. He was one of the original Fellows of IPS in the 1960s, where he wrote From Race Riot to Sit-in, 1919 & the 1960s; with Marc Raskin co-authored A Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority; created the original Freedom Seder; was a delegate from DC to the Chicago DNC of 1968; and was a member of the steering committee of the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Indo-China.

Rev. Nelson and Mrs. Joyce Hobson Johnson of the Beloved Community Center of Greensboro were founding members of Student Organization for Black Unity in 1969. They were involved in the anti-Klan demonstration in Greensboro, North Carolina on November 3, 1979, when a number of demonstrators were killed. In collaboration with others, including fellow Elder, Lewis Brandon, a student organizer during the original Greensboro Sit-Ins, they initiated the first Truth and Community Reconciliation Process in the U.S., modeled after the South African process, to promote racial healing, economic and social justice after that tragedy.


September 12, 2012
2:15 pm - 3:45 pm
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IPS Conference Room
1301 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20036 United States
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