MONTGOMERY, AL – Alabama State University (ASU) houses one of three Interpretive Centers that stretches along the national Selma-to-Montogmery Historic Trail. The Montgomery Interpretive Center exists to commemorate the people, events, and route connected with the 1965 March.

When visiting the center, visitors will learn about the origins of the Civil Rights Movement, especially the people and students who put their lives on the line to fight injustice, events and route connected with the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March. They will also learn about the murder of Marion’s Jimmy Lee Jackson whose death served as the catalyst for the March.

“The Center stands here on ASU’s campus as a celebration and a hallowed reminder of a brave band of American citizens who stood up for equality, justice, freedom and the right to vote,” said Quinton T. Ross, ASU President. “I thank the National Park Service for being our partner in this endeavor and the countless people who made this dream a reality.”

The center sits adjacent to the ASU football stadium along a corner block that serves as a gateway into campus. It is across from the homes of civil rights icon Ralph Abernathy and singer Nat King Cole. It serves as the third and final civil rights Interpretive Center along the March trail. The other interpretive centers are in downtown Selma and Lowndes County.

“The Center serves as a reminder of what Dr. King, Congressman John Lewis, F.D. Reese and so manny others did to make equal justice and freedom a reality for all. It also serves as a reminder that we still have further to March before Dr. King’s ideal of a Beloved Community is achieved,” said Ross.

The Grand Opening was set for March 25; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a possibility that the event has been postponed and the center remains closed.

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About the Selma to Montgomery Trail

Alabama’s Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail honors the 54-mile march of white and black non-violent supporters, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today, the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail stands as a testament to the sacrifices made in the triumph to preserve the right to vote as the bedrock of American democracy.

Dr. Everett B. Ward, Ph.D., President of Saint Augustine’s University.

Florida A&M University (FAMU) announced today that Everett B. Ward, Ph.D., president of Saint Augustine’s University and general president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., will serve as its Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation speaker on January 10, 2019, at 10:10 a.m., in Gaither Gymnasium on FAMU’s campus. This event is free and open to the public.

According to an press release by FAMU, King was also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Ward incorporated King’s urgent call for action on civil rights in his Alpha Phi Alpha national theme, “Urgency of Now,” and actively advocates on behalf of causes affecting the African-American community, specifically men of color. As president of Saint Augustine’s and an alumnus of the Raleigh, N.C. university, Was has championed academic excellence and encouraged innovation in scholarship and teaching.

Word serves on several national, regional and statewide boards to advance opportunities for citizens throughout the nation. he is a former member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) where he served as vice chairman of the DNC Black Caucus. In 1989, Ward made history by becoming the first African-American to serve as executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party.

In addition, Ward served as the director of the Historically Black Colleges and University/Minority Institutions of Higher Education Program for the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Prior to his election as general president of Alpha Phi Alpha, Ward was appointed to lead the committee responsible for developing the fraternity’s strategic vision into the next century. In every role, Ward has been instrumental and committed to moving the fraternity forward.

He earned a master’s degree from North Carolina State University, and his doctoral degree from North Carolina A&T State University.