• Cultural Calendar
Honoring the Quiet Courage of Rosa Parks

It only takes a spark to light a fire, and when it came to the Civil Rights movement, one major spark toward change took place on December 1, 1955. This was when Rosa Parks, a Black woman in Montgomery, Alabama, bravely refused to relinquish her seat on the bus to another white passenger, breaking the Alabama law that required Black passengers to do so.

Rosa was subsequently arrested, setting off a massive 381-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system by thousands — and directly leading to a 1956 Supreme Court decision that banned segregation on public transportation, and even more importantly, to the rise of an eloquent and passionate young preacher who joined in those boycotts and the outcry for justice — Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rosa Parks passed away at the age of ninety-two on October 24, 2005. On October 30, she became the first woman to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda.

As we honor her memory and achievements on the anniversary of her brave opposition, let us also use her inspiration to act and speak out whenever we encounter racism or hate.


The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 

Observed each March 21 after the tragic day in 1960 when the police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire on participants in a peaceful demonstration against apartheid, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination remains an important one in the attempt to fight racism and racial discrimination worldwide.

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Observing Wounded Knee Day

Also known as Wounded Knee Day of Reflection, Wounded Knee Day honors the memory of the over 200 (some estimate as many as 300) Lakota Sioux men, women, and children who were massacred by the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment near Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. 

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