Renowned Civil Rights activist to speak at SUNY Oswego


October 27, 2016

Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, the recipient of the 2015 National Civil Rights Museum’s Freedom Award, will speak at SUNY Oswego on Wednesday, Nov. 16, with a documentary on her life airing the previous evening.

Mulholland’s talk will take place at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 16 in Sheldon Hall ballroom. The college will screen her award-winning documentary “An Ordinary Hero: The True Story of Joan Trumpauer Mulholland”—produced by her son Loki—at 6 p.m. Nov. 15 in Marano Campus Center auditorium, Room 132. Both events are free and open to the public.

A Civil Rights legend who participated in more than 50 sit-ins and demonstrations by the time she was 23, Mulholland was a Freedom Rider, a participant in the Jackson Woolworth’s Sit-in, and helped plan and organize the March on Washington.

For her actions she was disowned by her family, attacked, shot at, cursed at, imprisoned on death row and hunted by the Ku Klux Klan for execution. But she also crossed paths with some of the biggest names in the Civil Rights Movement: Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, Robert F. Kennedy, John Lewis, Diane Nash, John Salter, Julian Bond and Harry Belafonte, to name a few.

As a white Southern woman, she is recognized and highly regarded for her courage and fortitude among the many heroes in the movement. She has appeared in several books, including “Coming of Age in Mississippi,” “Breach of Peace,” “We Shall Not Be Moved” and the new illustrated children’s books about her life, “She Stood For Freedom.”

Her story and experiences were highlighted in award-winning documentaries, including “An Ordinary Hero,” PBS’s “Freedom Riders,” “Standing on My Sister’s Shoulders” and the groundbreaking film “Eyes on the Prize.”

Mulholland has received numerous awards and recognition for her work in the Civil Rights Movement. Most recently she was recognized, along with other female Freedom Riders, by President Barack Obama. She also has earned Delta Sigma Theta Inc.‘s Annual Award of Honor and the Anti-Defamation League Annual Heroes Against Hate Award, and a resolution passed in her home state of Virginia recognized her lifelong achievements and contributions.

She is a sought-after speaker, having presented at major universities, charitable events, government organizations, the U.S. Congressional Luncheon and the United Nations.

Her appearance is part of the “I Am Oz” Speaker Series, sponsored by the college’s Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

Persons with disabilities, needing accommodations to attend this event, should contact the Dean of Students Office at 315-312-5483.