Civil Rights Summer Program Launched for Social Justice Student Leaders

Media 01.21,02


Program Celebrates Legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

For Immediate Release
January 21, 2002

Cambridge, MA and Washington, DC ? Four leading civil rights organizations today launched “Civil Rights Summer 2002” – a unique summer fellowship program that celebrates the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. by providing student leaders the opportunity to shape the future civil rights movement.

Wade Henderson, Executive Director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights stated, “Just as Dr. King observed more than forty years ago, that the “so-called ‘silent generation’ is not so silent,” the same holds true today. A new generation of civil rights leaders stands ready to carry the movement forward, and the Leadership Conference is honored to be a part of this critical effort.”

Civil Rights Summer, a collaboration among the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), Leadership Conference Education Fund (LCEF), the Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights, and The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, is an eight-week educational and training program to support and encourage young people to realize and utilize their power to effect change in their communities. Applications for CRS 2002 are available at and through the sponsoring organizations.

Like last year’s inaugural program, CRS 2002 Fellows will spend their first week engaged in intensive academic study and training with The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University. This training is aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of the link between the historic civil rights movement and the civil rights struggles of today.

Christopher Edley, Jr., Co-Director of The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, noted, “We will be giving these remarkable students intense academic preparation at Harvard on civil rights history and policy from a multi-racial perspective”

William L. Taylor, Acting Chair of the Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights stated, “We expect this program to encourage new student leaders to continue the battle for civil rights and to meet new challenges to establish social and economic justice.

Following the week of study at Harvard, the Fellows will learn about working in coalition to advance public policy by working at national civil rights organizations in Washington, DC. “These organizations have all recognized the important role they can play in mentoring future social justice leaders,” stated Karen McGill Lawson, Executive Director of LCEF. They will also participate in training exercises and activities aimed at developing the students’ coalition building, organizational, and leadership skills and at promoting inter-group understanding and respect. The Fellows will also play an instrumental role in creating a national student activist network that will leverage Internet technology to train, educate, mobilize, and connect students dedicated to social justice.

“We are so excited to have this diverse group of young leaders on campus and believe that we may be training the next Martin Luther King, Jr. or Cesar Chavez,” stated Gary Orfield, Co-Director of The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University.

Alison Harris
Civil Rights Project at Harvard University
[email protected]

Corrine Yu
Leadership Conference
[email protected]


The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights is the nation’s oldest, largest and most diverse civil and human rights coalition with more than 180 national organizations committed to the protection and advancement of basic civil and human rights for all persons in our society. Its sister organization, the Leadership Conference Education Fund, undertakes research and public education campaigns on a wide range of civil rights issues to help strengthen the nation’s commitment to equality and opportunity for all.

The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University is an interdisciplinary initiative that was founded in 1996. Its central mission is to mobilize the resources of Harvard and the broader academic community in support of the struggle for racial and ethnic justice. By building strong relationships among researchers, community organizations, and policy makers, The Civil Rights Project hopes to raise the level of discourse on targeted issues that will affect the tone and content of many current legal and political debates.

The Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan organization founded in 1982. It is committed to the revitalization of a progressive civil rights agenda at the national level. The Citizens’ Commission was established to monitor civil rights enforcement, to examine important policy issues affecting equality of opportunity, to publish reports, and to alert decision makers to major issues of concern.