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University of Hartford to Explore the Life and Legacy of Civil Rights Activist Bayard Rustin

Posted 02/13/2015
Posted by David Isgur

In celebration of Black History Month and to honor the Civil Rights Movement, the University of Hartford will host a screening of the film, Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, on Thursday afternoon, Feb. 19. That will be followed that evening by a panel discussion of the issues involved in Civil Rights Movement, as well as the issues facing an openly gay black man in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Both events are free and open to the public.

Rustin was posthumously presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013 by President Obama, who said of Rustin, “Bayard Rustin was an unyielding activist for civil rights, dignity, and equality for all. An advisor to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he promoted nonviolent resistance, participated in one of the first Freedom Rides, organized the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and fought tirelessly for marginalized communities at home and abroad. As an openly gay African American, Mr. Rustin stood at the intersection of several of the fights for equal rights.

Taking part in the panel discussion will be Warren Goldstein, chair of the history department in the University’s College of Arts and Sciences; Paula Austin,  the Jackie McLean Fellow and a visiting instructor of history at the University; and Walter Naegle, the executor and archivist of the Bayard Rustin Estate. In addition, Naegle will be bringing the Presidential Medal of Freedom for all to see.

The event is sponsored by the University’s Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, the history department in the University’s College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s gender studies department, and Hartford Hillel. For more information or to reserve a seat, call 860.768.5018 or email

The screening of the film Brother Outsider will be from 12:15 to 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 19, and the panel discussion will be at 7 p.m.  Both events will take place in Auerbach Auditorium, located in Hillyer Hall, on the University of Hartford campus, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford.