Civil-rights leader Bob Moses called on an audience of young people to work on an unfinished piece of business from the 1960s during the University’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration Jan. 16.
Inviting some 90 schoolchildren to join him on the stage in Richardson Auditorium, Moses, who was a key figure in the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project to register black voters, said, “We were able to get segregation out of three areas of the country’s life: public accommodations, the right to vote, and the national Democratic party. But we did not get segregation and Jim Crow out of education, and that’s going to be your job. You are going to have to do that in this century.”
Moses, who holds a one-year appointment as a visiting fellow at Princeton, will co-teach a course this spring focusing on education and labor policies through the lens of race.
In her introductory remarks, President Tilghman said the annual King Day event is more than a national holiday for people such as Moses, who toiled for racial justice and equality in the 1950s and 1960s. “For these men and women, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is not so much a time to commemorate the achievements of half a century ago, profoundly important as they were, as it is a time to rededicate ourselves to the challenge of creating a more equitable and humane society,” Tilghman said.
Princeton’s MLK Day Journey Awards were presented to Miguel Centeno, a sociology professor who founded the Princeton University Preparatory Program, which provides low-income high school students with intensive preparation for college; and Sandra Mukasa ’12, who has been a leader in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues on campus and has worked for women’s rights in Africa.