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Geri Mannion at #NIIC

FFFAward on November 26, 2011 01:56

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    Geri Mannion is cofounder of the Freedom from Fear Award. She directs the U.S. Democracy Program and Special Opportunities Fund at Carnegie Corporation of New York.

    At the National Immigrant Integration Conference in Seattle, we spent an evening with acclaimed film maker and Emmy-winning MacArthur “genius” fellow Stanley Nelson, who will share clips from his documentary “Freedom Riders,” an inspiring documentary of the more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives to end legal segregation in the Deep South. The Freedom Riders endured savage beatings and imprisonment to assert their humanity and to challenge the federal government to intervene on the side of justice. These individual acts of courage and sacrifice by ordinary people created the first unambiguous victory of the Civil Rights Movement and paved the way for a generation of change.

    Today, our country desperately needs fresh energy from diverse people working together to enlarge social and economic justice. DREAM activists - undocumented young people who have been "coming out" by the hundreds - have been called the Freedom Riders of our day. Together with people of all ages and backgrounds, they are taking profound risks in standing up for immigrants and refugees as integral members of American society.

    This event was a rare and inspiring dialogue between civil rights activists and participants in the immigrant rights' movement as they exchange stories and lessons.

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