Desegregation Event

Join us as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the integration of Girard College on September 11, 2018 at 7pm - 50 years, to the day, from the day students of color first joined the Girard community. “Opening the Gates: The Desegregation of Girard College," a panel on race, education and history, will be free and open to the public. Additional educational resources are available here.

Panelists will share their unique perspectives on 1968 and beyond, from both sides of the wall. They include:

Moderator /Keynote Vivienne Crawford is a Philadelphia attorney and former public school history teacher. A civil rights activist since childhood, she is an active member of the Cecil B. Moore Philadelphia Freedom Fighters. Along with other youth, she participated in many political actions led by the legendary Philadelphia icon, Cecil B. Moore, Esq.

Panelist Karen Asper-Jordan was an original member of the “Young Militants” Freedom Fighters. Ms. Jordan marched around the walls for 7 months and 17 days. She was only 16, and one of the hundreds who marched in front of the wall at Girard College. She is currently President of the Cecil B. Moore Freedom Fighters.

Panelist William Dade, Girard student 1968 to 1971, was the eldest of the first four African-American students to enter Girard College. He went on to serve in the United States Army and then entered the culinary field, where he has worked for the last 40 years.

Panelist Owen Gowans III, Class of 1979, was one of the first African-American students to enter Girard College. Mr. Gowans is Pastor at Mt. Moriah Temple Baptist Church and a Chief Instructor for SEPTA.

Panelist Theodore Hicks, Class of 1977, was one of the first four African-American students to enter Girard College. He graduated as the first African-American valedictorian, and in 1988 was inducted into the Girard wrestling Wall of Fame. After Girard he attended Georgetown University; he now lives in Virginia and is a housing advocate and a board member of the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing.

Panelist Dennis Lalli, Class of 1968, graduated in the last class before Girard College’s desegregation and remembers the protests vividly. He is President of the New York Chapter of the Girard College Alumni Association and has practiced labor and employment law since 1977, both in private practice and as in-house counsel.

Panelist Carl Riley, Class of 1978, was one of the first African-American students to enter Girard College. Mr. Riley Lives in Virginia where he works in Information Technology.

A special exhibit complementing the panel will be on view in Founder’s Hall on September 11 and for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year.

Joining us on the evening of September 11th? Please fill out the registration below. Registration is not required but is enormously helpful for our planning purposes.
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