The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Freedom Summer 2004 to fuel voter registration

The 2004 Freedom Ride arrives on the UTC campus Monday and Tuesday, June 14-15 to provide a historical perspective of the 40th anniversary of the Freedom Rides for Voter Education and register new voters in Chattanooga. The Unity Group, the James E. Chaney Foundation, and UTC are sponsoring the local events.

“It is interesting to note that Chattanooga served as one of the original host sites of the Freedom Riders in 1964. That campaign is the reason that we can be participants in the democratic process and vote for our elected leaders. It dismantled the Jim Crow barriers that stopped African Americans at the courthouse doors and prevented them from being registered without passing literacy tests, paying poll taxes or reciting historical documents, like the Constitution, word for word,” said Reverend Paul McDaniel, chairman of The Unity Group.

Monday, June 14 at 5 p.m.
UTC Grote Hall Room 129

The public is invited to join students from Upward Bound, PRISM, and UTC to participate in a free presentation about the Freedom Riders.

“A historical perspective will be provided, and excerpts from the movie Mississippi Burning will be shown. There will also be time for questions and answers,” said Floyd Kilpatrick, Freedom Summer Committee chairman.

Tuesday, June 15
A caravan of 20 busloads with 480 youths aboard will arrive on campus at the University Center for a presentation in the Tennessee Room, where Representative Tommie Brown will present to the 2004 Freedom Riders a joint resolution from the General Assembly, Hamilton County Commissioner JoAnne Favors will present a joint resolution from the Hamilton County Commission. Other presentations from the City of Chattanooga and UTC are scheduled.

Students will leave the University in the afternoon to cover neighborhoods with historically low voter turnout with a block-by-block, door-by-door non-partisan voter registration drive from 1:30-4 p.m.

The Freedom summer Voter Registration Drive 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament will be held Tuesday, June 15 from 4-6 p.m. at the Avondale Community Center at Dotson and Wilcox. Free cash prizes will be given.

For additional information on how to volunteer or contribute, please call Second Missionary Baptist Church 624-9097.