Miami University Freedom Summer reunion/conference accepting registrations

Miami University's Freedom Summer reunion/national conference in October is taking registrations.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the summer of 1964, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.

An estimated 800 volunteers — many of them college students — trained in Oxford before heading South to register black voters and set up Freedom Schools and community centers in Mississippi and elsewhere. The training took place at the Western College for Women, which is now part of Miami's Western campus.

The "50 Years After Freedom Summer: Understanding the Past, Building the Future" reunion and conference Oct. 11-14 will feature historic participants along with scholars, activists, students and others to explore the continued significance of Freedom Summer. View the events schedule.

The deadline to register is Sept. 12.

Registration is required although the conference and most meals are free to Miami and Talawanda School District faculty, students and staff, and Freedom Summer participants. Other attendees are asked to pay modest fees to cover conference costs.

To register, complete the process online, download the registration form or call (513) 529-8309 for more information.

Faculty members are encouraged to consider Freedom Summer themes in their classes where appropriate.

The anniversary has inspired Miami's broader "Celebrating Freedom" theme.

"Celebrating Freedom: Understanding the Past, Building the Future" is a universitywide, yearlong event — from Fall 2013 through Fall 2014 — that provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress made and the efforts yet to come in the United States and globally to ensure the freedom and dignity of all people. The celebration will focus on issues and topics such as civil rights, immigration, voting rights, women’s rights, gay rights, freedom of speech, human rights, and others — all related to the basic right of freedom.

Those topics will be discussed at the October conference.