The event will take place Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. in Pierce College Puyallup’s Arts and Allied Health Building Theatre. Doors open at 6 p.m., and a film screening will take place at 7 p.m., featuring the award-winning documentary about her life, called “An Ordinary Hero,” which was written, produced and directed by her son, Loki Mulholland.
Following the film, the audience will have an opportunity to participate in a panel discussion with the filmmaker and activist, followed by a reception hosted by the Black Student Union.
“An Ordinary Hero” is the true story of one woman’s courage and determination to help change the world. By the time she was 19 years old, Mulholland had been attacked, imprisoned and threatened for standing up for her beliefs. “When I was about 10 years old, I started to realize that what we were learning in Sunday School didn’t fit with what we were doing with segregation,” Mulholland said. “We were taught to treat others the way we want to be treated, but that wasn’t happening in the community. I saw the hypocrisy and wanted to do something about it.”
Mulholland was arrested at 19 years old due to her involvement with the historic Freedom Riders, when she and several others refused to leave a bus station in Mississippi. Freedom Riders were comprised of black and white activists who challenged the illegally segregated buses and bus stations of the South, by refusing to travel separately. That summer, Mulholland and other Freedom Riders spent two months on death row after refusing to pay bail.
But one of the most pivotal moments of her life came when she became the first white woman to enroll at Tougaloo College, a historically black institution in Mississippi. “Attending Tougaloo made me who I am today,” she said. “Being a minority in college and gaining the acceptance of my fellow students really forced me to view the world differently.”
Mulholland has been widely recognized for her work in the civil rights movement. She has received a number of awards, such as Delta Sigma Theta’s Annual Award of Honor and the Anti-Defamation League Annual Heroes Against Hate Award. Her story has been highlighted in award-winning documentaries and several books.
Tickets to the event at Pierce College Puyallup are $15 for general admission, or $5 for Pierce College students, available online at www.PierceCollegeEvents.com.
Story reprinted, with permission, from Pierce News website.