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Indiana University Northwest

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IU Northwest to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday with 'Freedom Riders' screening Jan. 12

Program pays tribute to those who risked lives to confront racial inequity in American South.


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Erika Rose
Office of Marketing and Communications

Charles Sheid
Office of Marketing and Communications

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"Freedom Riders" trailer

On Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, Indiana University Northwest will celebrate the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday with a very special program, “The Freedom Rides and the Freedom Riders of 1961,” which will pay tribute to the men and women who risked their lives to confront racial inequality in the American South.   

The Northwest Indiana community is invited to join the campus for a screening of “Freedom Riders,” the award-winning documentary about the young people, black and white, who boarded buses and traveled to Southern towns in order to openly defy segregation laws. The threats, physical violence and imprisonment they suffered at the hands of Southern citizens and authorities only strengthened the Riders’ resolve to confront the injustice of segregation through non-violent activism, and their courageous action awoke the nation to the evils of a harshly unequal social system.  

The 6 p.m. screening of the acclaimed film from Firelight Media and director Stanley Nelson will take place in the Savannah Gymnasium. It will be followed at 8 p.m. by a discussion featuring Freedom Riders Diane Nash and Abraham Bassford, and “Freedom Riders” film producer Laurens Grant.

Earlier in the day, at 3:30 p.m., IU Northwest will host the roundtable discussion “How the Freedom Rides Changed America: A Half-Century Retrospective,” featuring IU Northwest faculty members. This event will take place in Savannah’s Bergland Auditorium and is also open to the public.      

Doors to the gymnasium will open at 5 p.m. and refreshments will be provided. Two local choral ensembles will provide a musical presentation comprised of songs from the Civil Rights movement. There will also be a book sale at the IU Northwest bookstore featuring titles related to the Civil Rights movement.   

IU Northwest is known throughout the region for kicking off the MLK holiday weekend with timely and compelling programs. This January, join the campus, the community, and our special guests in celebrating the courage and lasting accomplishments of the Freedom Riders at this engaging presentation.

To view the “Freedom Riders” trailer, visit To reserve your spot, call Delores Crawford at (219) 980-6800.