Tuesday, July 19 at 6pm at Queens Borough Hall

(July 12, 2022 at 11:30am)

QUEENS, NY – Six decades after their courageous travels through the segregated South, Queens residents who participated in the 1961 Freedom Rides will be honored by Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. next Tuesday, July 19 at 6pm at Queens Borough Hall, in celebration of the critical role these leaders and other institutions played in the fight for equality during the Civil Rights movement.

“The Deep South is often thought of as the epicenter of our nation’s long, arduous and ongoing civil rights movement. But Queens, like so many other movements, has contributed greatly to the push for racial and social justice, as our local Freedom Riders displayed so courageously more than 60 years ago,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “The debt our nation owes the Freedom Riders and all those on the frontlines of the fight for equal rights can never be fully repaid, but join us on July 19 as Queens shows its gratitude to these heroes.”

The July 19 celebration will recognize several Queens leaders who joined the Civil Rights movement in the South to fight against the illegal segregation of public buses. Honorees include Freedom Riders Lew Zuchman, Bob Heller, Luvaghn Brown and Paul Breines. Rabbi Moshe Shur of Queens will also be recognized on July 19 for his years of activism across the South during the Civil Rights movement.

The celebration will include a short video showcasing the powerful history of the Freedom Riders — individuals of all racial backgrounds who rode into the South to protest segregationist local public transit laws, in violation of a 1960 Supreme Court ruling declaring racial discrimination on buses to be illegal. During their journeys, Freedom Riders were subjected to mass arrests and beatings by both local police forces and white supremacist mobs.

The event will also feature an art installation with pieces inspired by the Freedom Riders by artist Charlotta Janssen, as well as a performance by Laurelton-based dance group ESOTA.

The celebration is cosponsored by Scan-Harbor, NAACP Jamaica Branch, Queens College, Queens Jewish Community Council, New York State Senator James Sanders Jr., Assembly Members Alicia Hyndman, Khaleel Anderson, Andrew Hevesi, Daniel Rosenthal and David Weprin, City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Council Member Nantasha Williams.

Members of the public who wish to attend the conference can RSVP at www.queensbp.org/rsvp, while members of the media who wish to attend are asked to RSVP by emailing [email protected] or calling 718-286-2640.

WHAT:         Borough President Richards Hosts Celebration Honoring 1961 Freedom Riders from Queens

WHEN:         Tuesday, July 19 at 6pm

WHERE:       Helen Marshall Cultural Center at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens

WHO:            DONOVAN RICHARDS JR., Queens Borough President

                      Honorees, performers.

Follow the Office of the Queens Borough President via @QnsBPRichards on Twitter and @QueensBPRichards on Facebook and Instagram