Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

The Civil Rights Movement

Portland Community College's Dual Credit Program presents an exciting one-day educational opportunity for high school students receiving PCC credit for their articulated high school History class(es).

Freedom riders protesting

The event is FREE of charge. Morning refreshments, lunch and transportation are included.

Saturday, May 17, 2014, 10am - 2pm
PCC Rock Creek Campus
Building 9, Event Center
17705 NW Springville Road
Portland, Oregon 97229
Event Coordinator Contact:


If you have requested transportation assistance within the on-line registration process, a PCC Shuttle Bus will be at your high school ready to leave for the event promptly at 9:00 a.m. You will be returned to your high school after the event, no later than 3:30 p.m.


9:30 - 10:00 am:
Check-in & Morning Refreshments
10:00 - 10:15 am:
Welcome & Overview
10:15 - 10:45 am:
College Bowl
11:00 - 11:45 am:
Breakout Session #1
11:45 - 12:15 pm:
Lunch (provided by PCC) & Keynote Speaker
12:30 - 1:15 pm:
Breakout Session #2
1:30 - 2:00 pm:
Liberty HS Documentaries & Closing Ceremonies

Keynote Speaker: Ron Silver

Ron Silver is Chief of the Civil Division for the United States Attorney’s Office in Oregon.  He has been a lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice for 31 years and has handled civil rights cases throughout that time.  Ron also teaches about the history of the Civil Rights movement to lawyers, teachers, and students throughout Oregon and Washington.  He has led many groups of high school students on trips to Alabama and Mississippi to learn this history first hand.  He was recently honored by Roosevelt High School as one of their annual Freedom Fighters for his work in the community.  Ron was also awarded the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association’s Public Justice Award for his civil rights work in Fair Housing.  In keeping with his commitment to diversity, Ron is a member of Temple Beth Israel, a regular guest instructor at the Oregon Islamic Academy high school in Tigard, and a proud member of the Northwest Community Gospel Choir.

Breakout Sessions

The following sessions will be offered twice during the summit.

  1. The Trials of Medgar Evers...Medgar Evers was the Field Secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Mississippi from 1955 until he was murdered in his driveway by Byron DeLa Beckwith on the night of June 11, 1963. Evers played critical roles in the Emmett Till case, James Meredith’s integration of Ole Miss and the effort to desegregate Mississippi. His murder shocked America. The failure to convict his murderer in two trials in 1964 was not a surprise. The murderer’s failure to gain acquittal was a surprise. Finally, after 30 years, in its third try, Mississippi proved it was a crime for a white man to murder a black man in cold blood.

  2. Gay Civil Rights in the United States...From the Society of Human Rights in the early 1920s to the contemporary same-sex marriage issues going through courts and legislatures, explore the history of the LBGTQ community and its struggle for equal rights.

  3. Native American Activism and the Red Power Movement... Examines how urban migration fostered the creation of a pan-Indian identity in the post-WWII period, and how this identity combined with increased historical and political awareness to inaugurate a period of unprecedented Indian activism around the country. Will focus on high-profile national demonstrations, such as the Occupation of Alcatraz and the Siege at Wounded Knee, as well as more local affairs.  

  4. The History We Haven’t Been Taught: Unknown heroes of the Mississippi civil rights struggle and why this matters today...Karen Haberman Trusty worked with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) which was the primary youth led shock troops of the Civil Rights Movement in the deep south, particularly Mississippi, Alabama and Southwest Georgia. She was arrested and attacked by the Klu Klux Klan in Atlanta and went to Greenwood, Mississippi during the summer of 1964. In this breakout session, she will tell the story of the Mississippi struggle through the stories of some of the local freedom fighters in Mississippi. There will also be a discussion of their relevance to young peoples' struggles today.

  5. Preach of Peace: A Freedom Rider’s Journey...Max Pavesic's personal account of participating in a Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) sponsored Freedom Ride to test racially segregated public transit facilities in Mississippi. The talk will cover his initial involvement, arrest, imprisonment and general impressions of Mississippi in 1961.

  6. Civil Rights, The Vietnam War, and The Global Youth Movement...The impact of the American Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War was felt far beyond the United States. From Eastern Europe to Mexico, protest movements led by young people drew inspiration from events in the United States to protest conditions, laws, and conflicts they found to be unjust. These movements reached their zenith in 1968, when an explosion of protest ushered in fundamental changes in attitudes about human rights.

  7. Nonviolence...This session explores nonviolence as a philosophy and strategy that was central to the success of the Civil Rights Movement. It explores the distinction between nonviolence as political strategy for social change and nonviolence as a personal moral philosophy. It examines the impact these distinctions had on the trajectory of the Civil Rights Movement through the 1960s. This session will highlight the foundational figures in the philosophy of nonviolence as well as the practice, process, and methodology behind the strategy of nonviolent direct action.

  8. The Real Story Behind the Montgomery Bus Boycott...Most people think of Rev. King and Rosa Parks when they think of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, but there is much more to the story. This presentation will reveal the hidden personalities and events, unknown to the general public, that helped make this movement a success. It also delves into the circumstances that led this event to become a signature and a model for all other Movement episodes. Finally, it explains the extraordinary circumstances that led to the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

  9. Labor Rights as Civil Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Memphis Sanitation Strike...In 1968 black sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee went on strike for better working conditions and recognition of a union. The strike became a much larger call for civil rights and dignified treatment of the black people of Memphis. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to Memphis to lead a peaceful demonstration in support of the sanitation workers, and that is where he was killed. This session will look at the details of the strike as well as the larger issue of the connection between labor rights and civil rights.

  10. "‘Bra Burners’ and 'Feminazis’?: Who Were the 1960s/1970s Feminists and What Did They Want?"...This session will focus on the "second wave" feminist movement, the issues and rights women were fighting for, and who the participants were.