On Wednesday, November 2, 2005, politicians, spiritual and civil rights leaders from across the country gathered to pay tribute to Rosa Parks at the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, Michigan. The political speakers included the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, Senator Hillary Clinton; Michigan Governor Granholm, Senator Carl Levin (MI), and Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI); Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and the then junior senator from Illinois, now 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. The spiritual and civil rights leaders that spoke that day included the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Reverend Al Sharpton and Bishop T.D. Jakes. All gathered in celebration and memory of a woman who led an extraordinary life. Internationally renowned as the mother of the modern Civil Rights movement, Rosa Parks was thrown into the national spotlight on December 1, 1955 because of a simple act of civil disobedience ― her refusal to surrender a seat at the front of a bus to a white male passenger in Montgomery, Alabama. Let us remember the transformative power of a quiet, courageous act of defiance, but also the lifetime dedicated to the causes of equality, peace and justice.
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The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development is a 501(C)(3) organization founded by Rosa Parks in 1987. Mrs. Parks' vision is captured in the Institutes' four core programs: Pathways to Freedom, Intergenerational Technology Learning Centers, Youth Leaders for Peace Project and Rosa Parks Remix/The Next Generation. These programs focus their activism on youth development, voting rights, education, civil rights, historical accuracy, peace and conflict resolution.
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