|(l-r) Executive Director Dria Fearn,|
Co-Chairs Joel Young & Sheila Jordan
Public transit has played a role in many civil rights movements, because disadvantaged people often depend on the bus.
December 1, 2010 marked the 55th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ historic bus ride in Montgomery, Alabama, effectively igniting the modern Civil Rights Movement. To celebrate this historic event, and all civil rights movements, the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (“AC Transit”) and the Alameda County Office of Education have launched the Freedom Bus Project. This collaborative, interagency project recognizes the important role public transit has played in civil rights movements, celebrates the East Bay’s rich diversity and legacy of community activism, and engages youth to learn about this legacy and express their visions for social justice through the arts.
Most importantly, the Project seeks to provide identifiable role models to underrepresented and disadvantaged students who lack positive role models that look like them or share a common characteristic or disability.
- K-12 Arts Competition/Call for Entries: Students express what civil rights means to them through a drawing, painting, or print. 12 entries will be selected to be displayed in the internal advertising space on the AC Transit Freedom Bus and on buses across the entire AC Transit fleet. All student artists will be individually recognized with a certificate of achievement at the March 2011 Recognition Event. In addition, all entries from 9-12 graders in the Ninth Congressional District will be automatically entered into Congresswoman Barbara Lee's "An Artistic Discovery" Competition (formerly known as the Congressional Art Competition).
- Official Freedom Bus: Students in Berkeley High School’s Arts and Humanities Academy (AHA) have created artwork inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, which will be displayed on the exterior of the official AC Transit Freedom Bus.
- March 25, 2011 Recognition Event at Oakland School for the Arts (OSA): Display of all art submissions, the recognition of student artists, and a celebration of the East Bay’s contribution to civil rights movements and our local civil rights leaders.
- Freedom Bus Tour: The official Freedom Bus will embark on a one-day tour to different stops in the East Bay teaching youth about civil rights. The Freedom Bus will then be put into regular service on a to-be-determined AC Transit line.
The Project's Goal: Learn. Create. Thrive.
The Freedom Bus Project encourages youth to Learn about civil rights, Create artwork that represents their vision of social justice, and Thrive in and outside of the classroom.
Learn: The Freedom Bus Project provides an opportunity to learn about leaders from civil rights movements that either look like our students or share characteristics, including ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability.
Create: The Freedom Bus Project encourages civil rights education through the arts. This is particularly important to students who are not reached by traditional learning models, namely students of color. The Project complements traditional classroom learning by providing an opportunity for students to achieve academic success through the arts when they may not be successful in other academic pursuits.
Thrive: Academic success and positive recognition lead to success outside of the classroom. Students who identify as being “good in school” are more likely to graduate and less likely to end up in the criminal justice system. Participation in the Project results in learning about the civil rights movements that have positively changed our community, provides positive, identifiable role models, and the opportunity to achieve academic success through the arts.
- December 1, 2010: The Project officially launched at Peralta Elementary School in North Oakland and the Arts Competition opened.
- January 27-28, 2011: All Arts Competition entries are due to the Alameda County Office of Education in Hayward by 4:00 p.m. Friday, February 18, 2011.
- March 25, 2011, 6:00-8:00 p.m.: Recognition Event at OSA celebrating the Freedom Bus Project and Art IS Education Month. The March 2011 Art IS Education theme is “Creating Solutions for the World We Share,” which ties into the Project, as promoting civil rights and equality is critical to combating the global challenges we face. This event is free and open to the public.
- April, 2011: Unveiling of the official AC Transit Freedom Bus (designed by Berkeley High School’s AHA students) and the one-day Freedom Bus Tour. (Date and stops TBD)
Get Involved: Please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be involved.