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Civil Rights legend coming to PCC for speaking series

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Portland Community College is bringing activist and Civil Rights leader Hollis Watkins to its campuses this February.

The legendary activist participated in the first Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-in in Mississippi, used a hidden camera to film abuses by voter registration clerk Theron Lynd for CBS News, led a ‘Freedom School’ in 1963, was there when Fannie Lou Hamer gave her testimony at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, and more.

Watkins will speak at 6 p.m., Monday, Feb. 6, Moriarty Auditorium, Cascade Campus (705 N. Killingsworth St.); noon, Tuesday, Feb. 7, Room 121, Building 7, Rock Creek Campus (17705 N.W. Springville Road); and 11:30 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 9, Oak-Elm-Fir rooms, CC Building, Sylvania Campus (12000 S.W. 49th Ave.). Admission is free, but seating is limited. Doors open 30 minutes prior to each talk.

Watkins is particularly known for singing and leading people in ‘Freedom Songs’ during his stay in the Mississippi Maximum Security prison for disturbing the peace. He was leading singing, and the jailers handcuffed him to the crossbar of his prison cell, high above his head, so that his weight was on his wrists as he hung there. But Watkins kept singing.

For more information, call (971) 722-5781.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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