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March 8, 2004

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Civil rights leader Robert Moses will give the talk, "Radical Equations: Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project," Monday, March 22, at 7 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.

The talk, which is open to the public without charge, is part of the "Brown at 50" Symposium celebrating the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that brought major changes in national and social policy and focused the nation on the issue of racial discrimination in public education

Moses was a civil rights leader in the 1960s working with groups such as the Southern Christian Leadership Council and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Much of his work was in Mississippi where he helped African American communities organize and demand the right to vote.

More recently, he has focused on mathematics education and the Algebra Project. He founded the organization in the 1980s as a national mathematics literacy effort aimed at helping low income students and students of color — particularly African American and Latino/a students — successfully achieve mathematical skills that are a prerequisite for a college preparatory mathematics.

Moses makes the link between civil rights and mathematics education by focusing on under-served students who do not always have the opportunity to develop the critical thinking skills required for jobs in a knowledge-driven economy. Whereas literacy was the issue that kept sharecroppers from participating in mainstream political and economic life in the early 1960s, he argues that students who leave school today without sufficient mathematical and critical thinking skills also may be closed out of many opportunities. 

In recognition of his work with low-income and minority children through the Algebra Project, Moses became the sixth recipient of the Heinz Award in the Human Condition in 1998. The award honors those individuals who have created programs that protect and empower disadvantaged individuals.

The talk is sponsored by the Bucknell education department with assistance from the following organizations: president's office, provost's office, University Lectureship Committee, history department, dean of students office, residential colleges, Central Susquehanna Valley Intermediate Unit, Race/Gender Resource Center, Bucknell Office of Alumni, Parents, and Volunteers, Bucknell Black Alumni Association, Women's Resource Center and the Committee for Campus Diversity.


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