ABOVE PHOTO: Cecil B. Moore speaks to crowds in front of Girard College.
(Photo credit: Temple University Urban Archives)
Beech Interplex, Inc. is partnering with the Cecil. B. Moore Philadelphia Freedom Fighters (Freedom Fighters), Girard College and the Philadelphia Police Department’s 22nd District for a March Against Violence on Saturday, May 4.
The March Against Violence, sponsored by the Cecil B. Moore Freedom Fighters, will start at 9 AM in front of the Philadelphia NAACP headquarters, 1619 Cecil B. Moore Avenue, Philadelphia. The marchers, led by the Modern Legends Drill Team, will walk approximately one mile to Girard College, 2101 South College Avenue, Philadelphia.
The marchers will end the March Against Violence by going inside Girard College to participate in the school’s annual “Cares Day,” which will include things like painting, planting and cleaning up of the Girard College campus. The Girard College Cares Day will run from 10 AM to 12 noon and the marchers will be working side-by-side with current Girard College students, administrators and alumni.
“Beech Interplex is honored to play a role in working towards peace in the streets of North Philadelphia and throughout the city in sporting the March Against Violence and Girard College Cares event,” said Kenneth Scott, president of Beech Interplex, Inc. “In the wake of such tragic events like the Boston Marathon bombings and the everyday violence taking place in our city, the need for peace on our streets, our neighborhoods and our nation is of critical importance.”
“The March Against Violence is about is about showing the world that the citizens of Philadelphia are not scared to death and just sitting in our house, but we are fighting back,” Freedom Fighters President Mel Dorn said. “We are doing this march to show a positive example for our children. Violence of all kinds is impacting every section of this city and kids are dying on our streets. We want to remind people through this march to get out of your houses, stand up and fight back.”
The March Against Violence and Girard College Cares Day celebrates giving back to the community and empowering others to participate in community service.
The Freedom Fighters and Beech Interplex will honor the memory of the late Philadelphia City Councilman/civil rights activist Cecil B. Moore with a May 4 ceremony and performances starting at 11:30 AM at Girard College’s Tuttle Pavilion. The special guests include jazz singer Billy Paul and documentary filmmaker Louis Massiah.
Cecil B. Moore was a legendary Philadelphia lawyer, civil rights activist who was once president of the Philadelphia NAACP (1963-67) and was the leader in helping integrate Girard College, which had only allowed white male students to attend its’ first through twelfth grade school that opened in 1848.
Moore, who died in 1979 at age 63, is best remembered for leading seven month and 17 days of picket lines in front of Girard College during 1965. The picket line included a speech by the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King in August 1965 and the goal was to force Girard College administrators to admit African-American male students. In 1968, federal courts ruled African-American students seeking admission to Girard College cannot be denied admission because of their race. The Girard College trustees voted to admit African-American students to the school in May 1968
The first African-American students entered the school in September 1968 and the first African-American girls in 1984.
The Freedom Fighters are a group of men and women who have committed their lives to the sole purpose of equality and freedom throughout the streets of Philadelphia since fighting for the integration of Girard College in the mid 1960’s. The Freedom Fighters are educating Philadelphia’s young people to stand up against injustices and improve and promote North Philadelphia through the living legacy of Moore.
The Freedom Fighters will celebrate Cecil B. Moore Day in Philadelphia on Wednesday, May 1, 3-6 PM, at the Cecil B. Moore Library, 23rd and Cecil B. Moore Ave., Philadelphia. The event will feature a proclamation from Philadelphia Mayor Michal Nutter, a film presentation and entertainment. The entertainers on May 1 include City Limits Records recording artist Kevin Diggs, rhythm and blues vocalist Vivienne The Entertainer and author/poet LaVerne Pinckney Williams, author of “A Black Angel Delivers A Message.”
As part of the Girard College Cares Day on May 4, a celebration of Philly Police for Peace will take place at 12:15 PM at Tuttle Pavilion. The Police Department will also sponsor activities for children inside the Girard College campus from 12:15 PM to 2 PM. The activities will include arts and crafts, relay races, rock climbing and jump rope.
Individuals interested in participating in the March 4th march should email your full name to [email protected] or arrive at the March starting line by 9 AM, May 4.
Volunteers who want to participate in this community service opportunity are encouraged to register at [email protected] or 215-787-4423.
The overall mission of the North Philadelphia-based non-profit Beech Interplex, Inc. is to provide the community with direct services that includes commercial and economic development, neighborhood revitalization, program and project support, small business loans, educational and organizational grant programs. Beech Interplex has leveraged over $1 Billion in community reinvestment funds in the North Philadelphia community. Since 1990, Beech has built over 1,000 units of affordable housing throughout North Philadelphia.