Laureen Martinez, Orange County Communications Division, Assistant Manager
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Orange County Commemorates 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act

Orange County, FL – In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Full Sail University will host a commemorative ceremony on Wednesday, July 2, 2014, at the Orange County Regional History Center. The hour-long event, which begins at 11 a.m., will feature a reading of Dr. Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech by local school children and the unveiling of two special works of art to be displayed in the History Center’s collection.

The most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Act greatly expanded protections and prohibited discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin. The law also provided the federal government with the powers to enforce desegregation.

“It is so important that we remember the struggles that led to the passage of that historic legislation,” said Mayor Jacobs. “We must keep the story alive for future generations and each of us must be vigilant in standing up and speaking out on behalf of what is right.”

The program will include the personal testimonies of several Freedom Fighters like Curtis Dean, Rosa Park’s Godson, and Kran Riley, Orange County NAACP president, who took part in the “March on Washington.” Dean will present a portrait of Rosa Parks, which will be displayed at the Center, to Mayor Jacobs. Additionally, Full Sail University President, Garry Jones, will take part in unveiling a mural, which was created by Full Sail students. The three-panel mural features Martin Luther King Jr. and Eatonville’s own Zora Neale Hurston. Their contributions to racial equality have helped spawn a thriving and diverse community in the heart of Central Florida. To view a time-lapse video of the mural’s creation, please visit:

“Having the talents of our students on display at the Orange County Regional History Center to commemorate this vital moment in history is an absolute honor,” said Full Sail University President, Garry Jones. “Our hope is that this student created art piece will serve to inspire and instill the ever-present possibility of positive change.”

The event is free and open to the public, however; those who plan to attend should RSVP here.

Media Opportunity
WHO: Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Florida State District 12 Senator Geraldine F. Thompson, Orange County NAACP President Kran Riley, Rosa Park’s Godson Curtis Dean, Full Sail University President Garry Jones
WHAT: The Orange County Regional History
WHERE: 65 E. Central Blvd. Orlando
WHEN: Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its residents and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world-famous theme parks, one of the nation’s largest convention centers and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners, including the Mayor, who is elected countywide. For more information, please visit or go to Orange County Government’s social media channels.

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