Civic Engagement for Humanity: Lessons from Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement Applied to Modern Times

September 20, 2016

Location:  Dharma Realm Buddhist University’s Sudhana Center (the former Trinity School) @ 225 S Hope St, Ukiah, CA 95482
Date: Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Time: 7:00PM to 8:15PM

On the eve of World Peace Day, Tuesday, September 20, 2016, at 7:00PM, Dharma Realm Buddhist University will be hosting “Civic Engagement for Humanity: Lessons from Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement Applied to Modern Times” at the new Sudhana Center located in downtown Ukiah at 225 S Hope St in the Meditation Hall.  Two veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, Carol Ruth Silver and Marion Kwan, will speak about their experiences as young women organizing and participating in the Civil Rights Movement. They will be sharing lessons learned first through participation in the movement around how to organize and leverage transformation through civic engagement within local communities and at a broader scale.  The public is warmly invited to this free event hosted by Dharma Realm Buddhist University.

Carol Ruth Silver was one of the first two white women to be jailed in the Freedom Rides, an experience that sparked a career in law and politics, fighting for the rights of others. After graduating from the University of Chicago in 1960, where she first became involved in the Civil Rights Movement, Silver went to work as a clerk at the United Nations. Before entering law school, she chose to travel South as a Freedom Rider. Arrested with her five companions in Jackson, Mississippi, she spent forty days in jail, later publishing her diary from that time as Freedom Rider Diary: Smuggled Notes from Parchman Prison in 2014. She graduated from law school in 1964 and spent her post-law school internship working for the African-American attorney Floyd McKissick, who later became head of the Congress for Racial Equality. From 1977–1989, she served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, working with LGBT pioneer Harvey Milk on important legislation. She founded San Francisco’s first Mandarin Chinese immersion school in 1982.  She currently appears as a speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition opposing the U.S. policy of drug prohibition and has been working for the past ten years to enhance education, particularly for women and girls, in Afghanistan. She currently serves as a Board Member for Dharma Realm Buddhist University.

Marion Kwan is a Bay Area Veteran of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1965 & 1966 she was a civil rights worker in Hattiesburg, MS. with the Delta Ministry.   After the Civil Rights Movement, she returned to San Francisco as a Head Start teacher in Chinatown; and later a Youth Program Director for the Chinatown YWCA.  For most of her working career, she was a Counselor at the City College of San Francisco with a focus on low-income and first generation college students before retiring. She was also an Intercultural Communications Consultant with the Stanford Intercultural Communications Institute, and was a Trainer with Community Boards, Inc. in San Francisco, a conflict-resolution program to help neighborhoods settle disputes among themselves without resorting to the police or civil courts.  She is a lifetime student of Shaolin and Taiji at the Wen Wu School of Internal Martial Arts, attends the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, plays Chinese flute with the Dharma Realm Chinese Orchestra at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, and is a wife and mother.

*The opinions expressed by the speakers are their own and not necessarily that of Dharma Realm Buddhist University or Dharma Realm Buddhist Association.