Girard College Commemorates its 1968 Desegregation
Who: Girard College, select members of the Philadelphia Freedom Fighters, the surrounding community and more
What: Girard College joins its community to discuss and commemorate the historic desegregation of its campus fifty years ago on September 11th, 1968, with a full day of learning and sharing.
While the battle for desegregation of Girard Color dates back to the nineteenth century, it gained momentum in the 1950s and 1960s. An unsuccessful legal challenge by African-American lawyer and city council member Raymond Pace Alexander in the fifties was followed by a 1965 picketing campaign organized by Cecil B. Moore, the leader of the Philadelphia NAACP. Moore led seven months of protests around Girard College’s walls, which attracted national media attention and participation from outside civil rights figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The protests resulted in renewed legal challenges which ultimately forced the desegregation of the school in 1968. Students of color are now in the majority at Girard College.
Throughout the school day, integral members of this historic movement will visit classrooms to discuss their memories and answer student questions.
At 7pm, Girard College opens its doors to the community, free of charge, for a moderated panel discussion on the desegregation of Girard College. Panelist will include community members both inside and outside the wall during the protests, as well as first students of color.
Following the panel, guests are invited to visit “Opening the Gates: The Desegregation of Girard College,” an exhibition in Girard’s Founder’s Hall. This exhibition will feature video and audio content reflecting oral histories of participants as well as historical news footage.
Where: Girard College, a full-scholarship 1st through 12th grade boarding school
2101 S College Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19121
When: September 11th, 2018
Classroom visits: 9:30am to 3pm
Panel discussion: 7pm
Contact Kristen Angelucci, Director of Marketing and Communications for Girard College, at
email@example.com (215) 787-4489