Civil Rights Activist & Sociologist
Sociologist Joyce Ladner is one of the nation’s pre-eminent thought leaders. Her career has been shaped through her first hand involvement with the civil rights movement in Mississippi and as a staff member that organized the March on Washington in 1963. She worked alongside Bayard Rustin and other civil rights leaders. In 1963 she was jailed for a week for attempting to integrate the all-white Galloway Methodist Church in Jackson, Mississippi. She is a native Mississippian and began her fight for social justice as a teenager when she helped organize an NAACP Youth Chapter in her hometown. She was expelled from Jackson State College in in Mississippi for organizing a civil rights protest. Read More >
Audiences will hear Joyce Ladner talk about how she became a civil rights activist in her native Mississippi where she and other members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) fought for the right to vote, and how she failed the voting literacy test several times. She will discuss what it was like to spend a week in jail for protesting.
In 1960, civil rights activists marched for the right to eat at lunch counters and to vote. Some rights were achieved but the right to vote is under attack. Without the civil rights movement there would be no Black Lives Matter movement. This is an insightful speech on how the civil rights movement was a springboard for other social movements: women’s rights, student’s rights the rights of the elderly, and many others, especially the Black Lives Matter movement.
Women played critical roles in the civil rights movement. Ladner speaks about working with Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker and the “local” women who were the backbone of the movement.
An in-depth talk about how Ladner failed the Mississippi voting literacy test several times as a college student, and how current efforts to dismantle the Voting Rights Act and to prevent the African Americans from voting must be fought.
The election of President Barack Obama caused many Americans to say we live in a post-racial society. Audiences will hear Ladner talk about the fallacy of a post-racial and what needs to be done to bring about racial equality.
At a time when some textbooks are being rewritten to diminish and distort the history of African Americans, the focus on black history needs to be expanded throughout the year.
Audiences will hear Ladner’s talk on how these three movements reshaped America and expanded the rights of minorities and women.
This speech by Joyce Ladner goes in-depth on how two minority groups—blacks and Jews found common cause in the civil rights movement and beyond. Included in her speech is the murder of the three Mississippi civil rights workers (two of whom were Jewish and two of whom she knew) and the role she and her mentor, Holocaust survivor Ernst Borinski played in the book and film titled “From Swastika to Jim Crow.”