??????Have you ever wanted to learn more about the Freedom Riders of 1961? At Bates Technical College’s Martin Luther King, Jr. event, you can. Delve into this turbulent chapter of American history and watch Freedom Riders, a documentary by legendary director Stanley Nelson, on Friday, Jan. 14, 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Downtown Campus auditorium, 1101 S. Yakima Avenue in Tacoma.
The first feature-length film about this courageous group of activists, Freedom Riders chronicles an integrated band of college students in 1961 who board a Greyhound bus headed for the Deep South at a time when many southern states were violently enforcing segregation.
“Bates is honored to showcase this remarkable documentary at our celebration,” said Kathy Flores, the college’s diversity coordinator. “It will allow us to reflect on the violence and opposition the freedom riders experienced in their stand against segregation. I wonder how many of us, 45 years later, would have the courage to get on the bus for the rights of others if the Freedom Ride left today.”
As part of the celebration, Bates students will march to the Tacoma Dome on Monday, Jan. 17. Students and staff members encourage community friends to join them as they march from Bates’ Downtown Campus on 11th Street and Yakima Avenue to the Dome to attend the City of Tacoma’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. event.
The march, a college tradition, begins with refreshments at 8:30 a.m. in the cafeteria. Participants will begin marching at 9:30 a.m., in time to reach the Dome for the community celebration at 11 a.m. A shuttle will be available to return marchers to the Downtown Campus after the celebration.