Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


LR Look Back: Fifty Years of Desegregated Downtown Little Rock

widget_2013commerationThe UALR Institute on Race and Ethnicity is partnering with the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce to mark the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of downtown Little Rock businesses from 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, at the Chamber.

This event is part of the Chamber’s 31st Annual Minority Enterprise Development Week and will include a public unveiling of the markers, reception, and the seminar, “Developing Future Leaders: How Strong Mentors Can Increase Diversity in Leadership Positions.”

Eleven  individuals from the Council on Community Affairs, Downtown Negotiating Committee, and Philander Smith College, will be honored with bronze markers placed on the Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail in front of the Chamber. This will mark the third year of the Civil Rights Heritage Commemoration.

In 1963, this diverse group made up of members from COCA, DNC, and students from Philander Smith College worked together to plan a peaceful integration of downtown retail and restaurant establishments. Because of their efforts and others, by the end of 1963 most of the downtown retail businesses and restaurants had integrated.

2013 Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail Honorees
The following individuals will be honored:

    • Dr. Garman P. Freeman, COCA
    • Dr. Morris A. Jackson, COCA
    • William Starr Mitchell, DNC
    • James H. Penick, DNC
    • Arthur Phillips, DNC
    • Rev. Negail Riley, Pastor, Wesley Chapel at Philander Smith College; COCA
    • Bert Strauss, Philander Smith College student; DNC
    • Ozell Sutton, COCA
    • Dr. William H. Townsend, COCA
    • Dr. Evangeline Upshur, COCA
    • B. Finley Vinson, DNC

Public Commemoration Ceremony – 10:30 a.m.
Civil Rights Heritage Markers Unveiling

Reception – 11 a.m.

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