30th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Convocation will feature Freeman Hrabowski, III

Nominations now being accepted for the 6th annual Tony Hill Memorial Award, to be announced during convocation.

MLK 2014 FAH 350
Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, III

Fifty years ago, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, III, was a young child who marched for civil rights in the wake of a racially motivated bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four African American girls in 1963.

Hrabowski will draw from his memories as a Civil Rights-era youth marcher during the 30th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Convocation, where he will give a talk entitled, "The Role of Youth in the Civil Rights Movement: Reflections on Birmingham."

The event, set for 7 p.m., Thursday, February 6, at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, is free and open to the public.

Hrabowski has been president of  the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, since 1992. In 2008, he was named one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report.

Hrabowski was featured prominently in Spike Lee’s 1997 documentary, Four Little Girls, about the bombing of Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. 


In his talk, Hrabowski will share his perspective on the Civil Rights movement – including the experience of being jailed for participating in the Children’s March in Birmingham, which is his hometown. He will also share insights from a career in education.

Tony Hill Memorial Award

Members of the Santa Cruz and UCSC community are invited to nominate outstanding individuals for the Tony Hill Memorial Award.  The recipient will be recognized at the convocation.

Criteria for nomination: the individual is actively engaged in the needs of the community and seeks to provide tools to work toward a solution. The individual demonstrates hands-on service that results in building connections among diverse groups, promoting equality and justice. The individual’s activities reflect innovative or unique approaches to solving social problems.

Last year’s honoree was Stephen Nelson, praised for his work with the Homeless Services Center. The previous winner was Deutron Kebebew, hailed for his work with foster children.

The deadline for the Tony Hill award nomination is January 10, 2014.

The sponsors of this year’s convocation are the Good Times, the NAACP, Inner Light Ministries, the City of Santa Cruz, KZSC, and the UCSC Chancellor’s Office.