August 16, 2022

BSNBCS Partners to Celebrate 60th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides

Summary: Bed Stuy New Beginnings students are participating in a celebration of the 1961 Freedom Rides (60th* anniversary rescheduled from last year due to the pandemic) via several events, projects across the United States, as a part to its ongoing commitment to civil rights and youth activism.

Tuesday, May 24th:  Freedom Riders Lewis Zuchman and Luvaugh Brown visited BSNBCS. to meet with students and staff. They will discuss their experiences and learn more about our students, to kick off this collaboration.

June 15th-June 19th: Freedom 60* Reunion in San Diego: A BSNBCS group of students traveled to San Diego, California to participate in the Freedom 60 Reunion, with the remaining surviving Freedom Riders, and participate in ‘intergenerational story circles’, sharing their experience with their struggle for civil rights,  modern challenges to youth of color and to forging an intergenerational exchange of knowledge and experience, including participation in opening  the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art (SDAAMFA)’s new “The Buses are Coming” exhibit and the Gala Dinner for Freedom Riders. We also work with activist groups at the University of San Diego’s Mulvaney Center for Community, Awareness and Social Action and Via International with a visit to Chicano Park, in San Diego’s historic Barrio Logan.

Wednesday, June 22nd: Play in New Jersey: A busload of BSNBCS students saw the new play “Freedom Rider”, in New Brunswick, NJ at the Crossroads Theater Company.  

Sunday, August 7th-August 13th Civil Rights Tour of the South: BSNBCS students joined several NYC based non-profits in a Civil Rights Tour of Mississippi, led by former US Assistant District Attorney Ron Silver. Students focused on the role of leaders and movements in Mississippi during the early portion of the Civil Rights movement, including visits and practicum experiences in Medgar Evers’ home in Jackson, the Jackson NAACP office at the Masonic Lodge,  the COFO Civil Rights Education Center, Jackson State University, Tougaloo College, the historical Jackson Greyhound Bus Station, a session with  Jerry Mitchell, journalist and investigative reporter,  and several sites in Philadelphia, MS. BSNBCS was joined by representatives from the Supportive Children’s Advocacy Network,  Good Shepherd, Children’s Village and several of the original 1961 Freedom Riders.

October 2022: Fall Youth Led Conference at City College: Building on these previous experiences, youth participants will lead a conference on issues related to them in their lives, activism and connections to modern movements. Youth should lead the process  in identifying workshops, topics and themes. NYC Freedom Riders will join and attend.

BSNBCS  is seeking partners to support these efforts and bring these experiences of our young people to a wide audience. BSNBCS Executive Director Nicholas Tishuk and Freedom Rider Lewis Zuchman previously collaborated on the Freedom 50 conference, in Jackson, MS in 2011, which brought a busload of NYC students from Bed Stuy, East Harlem, Queens and the Bronx on a 9 day road trip across the South  and experiences with their activist elders who make up the Freedom Riders. We seek to document this work with interviews, video, writing and community engagement around historical and contemporary civil rights issues. Write Nicholas at for more information.

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