Shaw University Observes 60th Anniversary of SNCC with Full Week

“The Spirit of SNCC: Beyond 2020” culminates in “Conversation with” Rep. Jim Clyburn and Dr. David C. Forbes, Sr., SNCC co-founder

Raleigh, NC — (March 9, 2020) Shaw University will mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) on its campus with a full week of observances and events beginning Monday, March 30th and culminating in the SNCC Legacy Banquet featuring “A Conversation with Rep. James E. Clyburn and Dr. David C. Forbes, Sr.” at 7:00 p.m on Saturday, April 4th in the C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium on the University’s campus.

SNCC was founded in 1960 by student leaders, including then-Shaw student David Forbes, who were active in the sit-ins around the country. Shaw alumna and activist Ella Baker, who believed that those young, emerging leaders would be a valuable resource and asset to the civil rights movement, facilitated the organization of SNCC by students. SNCC went on to play critical roles in the famous “Freedom Rides,” the 1963 March on Washington and the Mississippi Freedom Summer.

Currently serving as U. S. House Majority Whip, Rep. Clyburn was elected to Congress in 1993 from South Carolina’s sixth district. He is a champion of civic and economic justice and believes fervently in the importance of supporting Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). Rep. Clyburn’s efforts have restored scores of historic buildings and sites on the campuses of HBCUs. His 2015 memoir, Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black, is described as a primer that should be read by every student interested in pursuing a career in public service.

“The goals of The Spirit of SNCC: Beyond 2020 exceed a simple commemoration of SNCC’s significant historical impact, important as that is, ” said Dr. Paulette Dillard, president of Shaw University. “We want the young people and members of the community present to discuss the social justice and civil rights issues of today in the context of the work SNCC accomplished, and then work together to thresh out actionable strategies that will propel the spirit of SNCC beyond 2020. Implementing those strategies will be the mission of young leaders, the leaders of tomorrow.” 

“The Spirit of SNCC: Beyond 2020” featured activities include :

  • Monday 3/30 – the week kicks off with a watch party for Shaw Rising, a documentary depicting the history of Shaw University and its impact on the course of education and social justice in the United States, from its founding in 1865 to the inauguration of its 18th president. Estey Hall Auditorium, 6:00 p.m. Free to the public.
  • Tuesday 3/31 – “Freedom Song,” an artistic tribute honoring Freedom Songs of the civil rights movement, including a showing of segments of the film “Freedom Song” and a spoken word performance. Estey Hall Auditorium, 6:00 p.m. Free to the public
  • Wed – Fri 4/1-4/3 – 47th Annual Alexander/Pegues Ministers’ Conference, “Awakening – Rising to a Kairos Moment,” featuring nationally recognized faith leaders. Estey Hall Auditorium and Thomas J. Boyd Chapel. Registration required
  • Friday 4/3 – SNCC Memorial March & Vigil – participants will gather on the Quad in front of the Willie E. Gary Student Center, 6:00 pm. Free to the public.
  • Friday 4/3 – Young Leaders/Community Town Hall, a discussion of civil and social justice moderated by CNN political analyst, Bakari Sellers. C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium, 7:00 p.m. Free to the public.
  • Saturday 4/4 – Young Leaders/Community Work Session – facilitated discussions of key points from the Town Hall, to develop action items to enact change, featuring Rev. Dr. John Mendez and Shaw University faculty. 10:00 a.m., Estey Hall Auditorium. Free to the public. 
  • Saturday 4/4 – SNCC60 Legacy Banquet featuring “A Conversation with U. S. Representative James E. Clyburn and Dr. David C. Forbes, Sr.”7:00 pm, C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium. Ticketed event.

For more information, or tickets and registration for “The Spirit of SNCC: Beyond 2020” go to