FREDERICK, Md. - This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a bill that prohibited discrimination based on race, religion or gender and paved the way for future civil rights legislation.
"The Civil Rights Act, it was to be liberating. To liberate people to be all that God meant for them to be," said U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings,
"What we want to do in our year long celebration is to both look backwards to what was going on in 1964 and what really made people develop the civil rights at that point. And also moving forward to see to what extend have we really realized the dream of the act at that point," said Katherine Turner-Conway, Provost at
During his keynote, Rep. Cummings shared his experiences during the Civil Rights movement and explained the importance of how his past helped shape his future.
"This is so important because I think that if we push it aside and if we remind ourselves of where we've been and don't educate our young as to where this county has been," said Rep. Cummings. "A lot of young people were born way after these things happened. They don't have a clue and so we have elevate them so they can appreciate their past and can appreciate their present so they can they can go forward in the future."
Staff members are hoping students can connect the fights of 1964 to the fights of 2014.
"And that this is what the reality was. And so when they look at perhaps issues of poverty today, manifestations of civil rights issues today they understand that this comes from a long history," said Turner-Conway. "This is something we've been fighting for many, many years, it's not just something now. It's something that many people have dedicated their lives too."
For more information about future 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act events, head to the committee's website here.