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Three photos of Rosa Parks. Rosa parks, Mother of Civil Rights

Rosa Parks Day

December 1, 2023 commemorates the 68th year since Mrs. Rosa Parks took a courageous stand for all humanity by refusing to give up her seat on the first row of the colored section of a city bus to a white man, during the Jim Crow segregation era in Montgomery, AL on December 1, 1955.  This act of defiance was the catalyst to the Montgomery Bus Boycott which lasted almost one year.  On November 13, 1956, the Supreme Court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional.

While Minnesota legislators work to bring forth legislation to make Rosa Parks a State holiday, we  join the great states of California, Michigan, Missouri, Alabama, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Tennessee in  honoring THE MOTHER OF CIVIL RIGHTS on this day.

Making Rosa Parks Day A National Holiday

Rosa Parks is known as “The Mother of the Civil Rights Movement” for her courage, determination, strength and love of humanity.  She was steadfast in her support for Black Women, evident in the work as an NAACP investigator, who fought 10-years to hold the 6 white men accountable for the rape of Mrs. Recy Taylor, which took place on September 3, 1944.  Her life was dedicated to fighting for the human and civil rights of oppressed Black people in the South.  

Women were often overlooked as leaders and though they contributed greatly to the civil rights struggle, they were forced to act behind the scenes. In the film, The Rebellious Life of Rosa Parks, Mrs. Parks describes the many ways in which Black Women worked together to power the Civil Rights movement. 

Making Rosa Parks Day A National Holiday (learn more)

Rosa Parks Library of Congress  Collection

About Rosa Parks Day

“Each Person Must Live Their Life As A Model To Others” — Rosa Parks

We are asking the BeLoved Community of Minnesota to honor Rosa Parks on December 1, 2023.  Here is a starter list of ways to honor Rosa Parks in your community. . .
  • Host Register To Vote Events
  • Host BeLoved Community Discussions
  • Host youth-led / focused Town Hall style meetings and rallies
  • Host nonviolence training 
  • Host Empowering Elders events
  • Host “The Rebellious Life of Rosa Parks” screenings / discussions following
  • Host “It Starts With Me” events in schools and libraries throughout the state

Reflection from Rosa Parks Day Producer

Ancestral Strength

On December 1, 2022, I was honored to receive the Rosa Parks Leadership Award alongside the legendary singer Mavis Staples, in a ceremony, hosted by the Southern Youth Leadership Development Council, at the Rosa Parks museum in Montgomery, AL.  
Ms. Crenshaw led the youth development council under the guidance of Mrs. Rosa Parks during the Civil Rights Movement in Montgomery and knew all the courageous freedom fighters – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mrs. Coretta Scott King, the Honorable John Lewis, Dr. Bernard Lafayette and many Black women who supported the movement behind the scenes without recognition.
Receiving the award, I thought of the responsibility that comes with such a great honor . . .
My work in Montgomery started in 2016, when I traveled to Montgomery with “Yes We Code” to facilitate a full day Hackathon for high schoolers because the public school system had fallen into State conservatorship for failing to educate marginalized kids in Montgomery.  Visiting the schools, they felt more like prisons, then a place where students thrive and are educated.  It was that moment that the ancestors filled my soul with “you must do something” and this led to me traveling to Montgomery to teach the fundamentals of HTML coding, ending with a peer-peer Hackathon in SYLDI’s summer program now for seven years.
We are our ancestors and must continue to carry their torch of freedom.  We inherited their love for all humanity, their nurturing spirit and their strength in caring for the Beloved Community. “It Starts With Me.”

It Starts With Me

Cultivating The Beloved Community

In June 2023, we partnered with Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of The King Center to focus on taking care of one another in our community based on her father’s methodology of cultivating the Beloved Community.  Our goal is to fill the communities “It Starts With Me” that will focus on engaging youth in the movement.  Local community partner, MN Humanities Center, OMG Media Solutions and various partner organizations will continue toactivate “It Starts With Me” Cultivating The Beloved Community youth initiative in schools, communities and libraries throughout the great State of Minnesota.
Juneteenth Brunch presented by MN Humanities Center