Students across the country will join together for a virtual National Youth Summit on Freedom Summer and civic engagement. Civil rights activists, historians, and students will participate in a panel discussion about the 1964 youth-led effort to end the political disenfranchisement and educational inequality of African Americans in the Deep South, and discuss the role of young people in shaping America’s past and future. The webcast will be hosted from the Old Capitol Museum in Jackson, Mississippi; young people from across the country will participate in the Summit through an online chat. Participating students will be encouraged to think of themselves as makers of history and asked to consider their ability to be active and engaged citizens.
The program is based on the an upcoming American Experience documentary Freedom Summer, on the 1964 effort to register African-American voters in Mississippi. Freedom Summer was produced by noted filmmaker Stanley Nelson, the acclaimed producer of Freedom Riders, with support from a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Freedom Summer will broadcast on PBS in the summer of 2014 to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of Freedom Summer. Watch a preview of the film here.
Dr. Robert Moses, director of the Mississippi Summer Project and founder of the Algebra Project.
Dr. Marshall Ganz, civil rights activist and Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
Dr. Michelle Deardorff, Professor and Department Head of Political Science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Larry Rubin, former Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee staffer and labor activist
Noah Martin, high school student, McComb County, Mississippi
Regional Youth Summit locations:
- American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, Missouri)
- Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, Michigan)
- History Colorado (Denver, Colorado)
- Institute of Texan Cultures (San Antonio, Texas)
- Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, California)
- National Museum of American Jewish History and The African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
- National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, Ohio)
- North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, North Carolina)
- Oklahoma History Center (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
- Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
- Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, Ohio)
The National Youth Summit is presented by the National Museum of American History with Smithsonian Affiliations and PBS's American Experience with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, PBS's American Experience, and the Verizon Foundation.