Nearly fifty years ago, the whole world watched as the United States passed the historic Civil Rights Act. Peaceful civil disobedience had triumphed over hate and violence. The charismatic Martin Luther King, Jr. led the movement, but it was fueled by the passion of hundreds of thousands of Americans who stood together in protest.

The year 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex or national origin,” and continues to resonate in America today. For this reason, Northeastern University is proud to present a yearlong commemoration of the people, events, and organizations dedicated to civil rights at the University, in America, and around the world.

We invite you to join us for “50 Years Forward: The Journey Continues.”

Northeastern and Civil Rights

Less than a decade after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, Northeastern University established the John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute and Department of African American Studies. With their founding, Northeastern made clear its commitment, as an urban community, to equality and civil rights.

Since its founding, the Institute has played a significant role in supporting students of African descent, providing services and programs to increase opportunities for academic success, civic engagement and social inspiration. Named in honor of John D. O’Bryant, the first African-American vice president at Northeastern University, the Institute has come a long way since its early days in the turbulent 1960s. As we mark the half-century milestone for the Civil Rights Act, please help us also celebrate the 45th anniversary of the John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute and the 40th anniversary of the Department of African American Studies.

You Are Invited

In October 2013, we kicked off this yearlong commemoration with a special reception. Please join us at an event this year. Learn about the Civil Rights Movement, honor those who made the dream of freedom and equality in America a reality, explore the current state of civil rights around the world, and re-imagine the future.

50 Years Forward events and activities are sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, and the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. They are open to the entire Northeastern community and the general public.

“We have talked long enough in this country about equal rights. We have talked for one hundred years or more. It is time now to write the next chapter, and to write it in the books of law.” “It ought to be possible, in short, for every American to enjoy the privileges of being American without regard to his race or his color.”
– President Lyndon B. Johnson – President John F. Kennedy