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Spotlight: New Courage Day – Where Do We Need Courage, Now?

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Spotlight: New Courage Day – Where Do We Need Courage, Now?

Date Published:
Monday, November 28, 2011

Almost six decades ago, Rev. J.A. De Laine and the other citizens of Clarendon County, S.C., brought the first lawsuit in America challenging racial segregation in public schools. Combined with four other national lawsuits, the result was the 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education, which ruled that racial segregation of schools was unconstitutional, a decision that helped ignite the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Those actions have brought substantial change in race relations in the United States.

That story inspired the 2004 "Courage" exhibit at the Levine Museum of the New South. That exhibit returns this month to the museum, and inspired a unique and ambitious social and educational initiative that culminates with New Courage Day, November 30 at UNC Charlotte’s Student Union.

Reflecting on the impact of that courage during the last century led organizers of the "New Courage" celebration to examine how courage is exhibited in present-day education and what does this "new courage" look like.

This fall, more than 20 classes at UNC Charlotte – along with partners at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the Levine Museum – have studied and debated what "new courage" is needed today.

On November 30, from 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM, panel discussions, art exhibits and dramatic and musical performances will be held to examine key ideas that foster "new courage" and bring them to the greater Charlotte community. The activities are presented as a civic engagement initiative of the Office of Community Affairs in the Division for University Advancement, UNC Charlotte faculty, the museum and CMS.

In the evening, Chancellor Philip L. Dubois and Levine Museum of the New South President Emily Zimmern will host a community conversation from 6:30 - 8:00 PM. Panelists include representatives from TIAA-CREF, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Wells Fargo and UNC Charlotte. A flash mob and a hip hop performance will enhance the conversation. The community is encouraged to attend and participate.

Click here for a comprehensive listing of New Courage events and performances.