50 years later, CCNY remembers pivotal protest

In commemoration of a transformational event in the institution’s 172-year history, The City College of New York’s Black Studies Program hosts   discussions and a walk April 16-18 to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1969 protest that led to open admissions.

The observance also includes the remounted 40th anniversary exhibit entitled: “The Five Demands: The Student Protest and Takeover of 1969." Originally curated in 2009, it can be viewed in City College’s Morris R. Cohen Library Atrium. It’s free and open to the public.

Highlights of the Black Studies-sponsored commemoration are:

  • April 16, panel discussion, 12:30 - 1:45 p.m., CCNY NAC Ballroom; moderator: Vanessa K. Valdés, director, Black Studies Program;
     
  • April 17, discussion by members of CCNY’s Classes of 1969 and 1970, 4 -6 p.m. in the NAC Ballroom. A mixer, free and open to the public, follows 6 – 8 p.m.); 
     
  • April 18, “A Walk to Remembrance Rock,” starts at 12:30 p.m. in NAC 1/202 and ends at Remembrance Rock on CCNY’s South Campus, with a commemoration honoring activists who fought for open admissions.

On April 22, 1969, a group of CCNY students, whose demands included greater minority enrollment, occupied the South Campus and Klapper Hall. They did not vacate the buildings until May 4, two weeks later.  The protest led to the implementation of The City University of New York's (CUNY) controversial open enrollment policy.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its role at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility indexThis measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

Jay Mwamba
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