Created Equal: America's Civil Rights Struggle

Free Community Outreach Series

Rochester Community & Technical College and Winona State University – Rochester present four powerful 90-minute community dialogue sessions focused on the civil rights movement. These sessions will feature clips from films within the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle documentary series and will stimulate thoughtful conversations and broaden community awareness. Learn more about the films and link to registration for each event below. Space is limited – register today!

The Abolitionists

The Abolitionists
February 5
4 - 5:30 pm
Univeristy Center - Rochester
Heintz Center Student Commons
Register Now

Register today to participate in a 90 minute discussion on the struggles of men and women who led the battle to end slavery, The Abolitionists

The Abolitionists
vividly brings to life the struggles of the men and women who led the battle to end slavery. Through innovative use of reenactments, this three-episode series puts a face on the anti-slavery movement—or rather, five faces: impassioned New England newspaper editor William Lloyd Garrison; former slave, author, and activist Frederick Douglass; Angelina Grimké, daughter of a rich South Carolina slaveholder; Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the enormously influential Uncle Tom's Cabin; and John Brown, ultimately executed for his armed seizure of the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry. The film's release in 2013 also marked the 150th anniversary year of the Emancipation Proclamation

The Abolitionists


Slavery By Another Name


SLAVERY by Another Name
February 12
12:30 - 2 pm
Rochester ALC on Woodlake Drive
Cafeteria/Commons Area
Register Now

Register today to participate in a 90 minute discussion on the unacknowledged shocking reality of how Southern black men were forced into unpaid labor that lasted until WWII.

It was a shocking reality that often went unacknowledged, then and now: A huge system of forced, unpaid labor, mostly affecting Southern black men, that lasted until World War II. Based on the Pulitzer-Prize-winning book by Douglas Blackmon, Slavery By Another Name tells the stories of men, charged with crimes like vagrancy, and often guilty of nothing, who were bought and sold, abused, and subject to sometimes deadly working conditions as unpaid convict labor. Interviews with the descendants of victims and perpetrators resonate with a modern audience. Christina Comer, who discovered how her family profited from the system, comments that “the story is important no matter how painful the reality is.”

 Slavery by Anotehr Name


Freedom Riders


Freedom Riders
February 19
5 - 6:30 pm
Boys and Girls Club of Rochester
Register Now

Register today to participate in a 90 minute discussion on how white and black volunteers risked their very lives to take the civil rights struggle out of the courtroom to the streets of the Jim Crow South.

Attracting a diverse group of volunteers—black and white, young and old, male and female, secular and religious, northern and southern—the Freedom Rides of 1961 took the civil rights struggle out of the courtroom and onto the streets of the Jim Crow South. Freedom Riders tells the terrifying, moving, and suspenseful story of a time when white and black volunteers riding a bus into the Deep South risked being jailed, beaten, or killed, as white local and state authorities ignored or encouraged violent attacks. The film includes previously unseen amateur 8-mm footage of the burning bus on which some Freedom Riders were temporarily trapped, taken by a local twelve-year-old and held as evidence since 1961 by the FBI. 

Freedom Riders 


The Loving Story


The Loving Story
February 26
4 - 5:30 pm
University Center - Rochester,
Coffman 206 - 208
Register Now

Register today to participate in a 90 minute discussion on how couples like Mildred and Richard Loving had to battle state law that banned marriage between people of different races.

When Mildred and Richard Loving were arrested in July 1958, in Virginia, for violating a state law that banned marriage between people of different races, such laws had been on the books in most states since the seventeenth century. But the Lovings never expected to be woken up in their bedroom in the middle of the night and arrested. The documentary brings to life the Lovings' marriage and the legal battle that followed through little-known filmed interviews and photographs shot for Life magazine.

 The Loving Story


This series was made possible through the generous contributions of the Winona State University Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, with additional support from Winona State University Outreach & Continuing Education. 

Sponsored by:


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This series was made possible by:


         Outreach & Continuing Education