Civil rights activist to visit BGSU PDF Print E-mail
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer   
Monday, 21 October 2013 11:52
Diane-Nash1
Diane Nash
Diane Nash made history.
A civil rights activist, she was instrumental in founding the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960, organizing the Freedom Rides and developing the voting rights initiative that culminated in the Selma-to-Montgomery March.
On Thursday she will speak at Bowling Green State University to tell students that the struggle for social justice isn't "just history" but continues. Nash will speak on "The Movements of the '60s: A Legacy for Today" at 6 p.m. at Bowen-Thompson Student Union in Room 228. The event is sponsored by the Department of Ethnic Studies.
"The struggle for a better society is not over," Nash said.
"I'm still very interested in issues having to do with African-Americans," she said in a telephone interview.
"The median income of black families is approximately half the median income of white families," she said. "The education level of blacks is not at all approximate to the education level of white children."
Blacks are disproportionately affected by social problems related to poverty.
Her concerns extend beyond issues of race to the economy, environmental issues, crime and domestic violence. "The list is long," Nash said.
At the core to much is the issue of violence, she said. "Violence on all levels concerns me," she said, from domestic violence to international violence.
"Anyone's life is of equal value," Nash asserted. "I sometimes wonder why we are saddened when children in Connecticut were gunned down in school, and we can't understand when our drones kill children in Pakistan that people all over Pakistan are saddened by the loss of innocent children there."
The issues are daunting. "We need to start by recognizing that we each need to take the future of our country into our own hands," Nash said. "Elected officials are not going to do what's necessary to solve the issues that affect the fate of the country."
If people had counted on politicians to act in the 1960s, "we might still be waiting" for the right to vote, she said.
"People should decide what issue moves them, what issues they think are really important, what issues they are willing to invest their time and passion and work into. They should choose that issue and find out all the information about it that they need to make a change and then they should proceed."
Nash said: "We are much more capable than each of us realize in terms of influencing the direction of the country."
That work, she said, never ends. "Every generation has to hold up their end on their watch. Life is very dynamic. If you don't live up to your responsibility, eventually you will pay."
Last Updated on Monday, 21 October 2013 11:56
 

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