Post submitted by Hubert Tate, former HRC Press Secretary, Project One America

The Human Rights Campaign is happy to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer. We are remembering the brave sacrifices of the courageous men and women who participated in Freedom Summer by partnering with groups in Mississippi and North Carolina to engage more people in the American political process.

Freedom Summer is a notable moment in American history when hundreds of people from across the country showed up in the South to challenge repeated attempts to keep African-Americans from voting and even holding public office.

In Mississippi, HRC’s Project One America is a lead sponsor of the Mississippi Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary Conference June 23-29, 2014. HRC staff will give presentations in the Youth Congress and Conference focused on race, sexual orientation and gender identity. Sessions will explore present-day struggles not only in Mississippi, but also globally.

In North Carolina, HRC is partnering with the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP and more than 200 of its coalition partners to encourage more citizens to register to vote.  In honor of the historic efforts of the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project 50 years ago, the current movement -- Moral Freedom Summer -- places organizers in counties across North Carolina.

Moral Freedom Summer is an outgrowth of the Moral Monday/ Forward Together Coalition movement in North Carolina. The NC NAACP is the architect of the diverse project. It is inclusive of all people regardless of age, race, economic status, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity.

HRC will make a significant investment to mobilize its North Carolina membership, support field organizing and train voter registration organizers. The three-month campaign centers on placing highly-trained organizers across the state to coordinate long-term voter empowerment. In the tradition of the original Freedom Summer effort, the current movement places a great emphasis on engaging youth and college-aged students to lead the work

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