On February 23, 1960, a group of students from Winston-Salem State Teachers College were joined by students from Wake Forest University in the simple but community-changing act of sitting together at a lunch counter, despite prevailing laws and customs that prohibited it. The risk these students took in order to lead our community toward greater good was tremendous, and in the end, their courage and commitment to justice led to the first desegregation agreement in Winston-Salem. In partnership with Winston-Salem State and with support from over 20 campus partners at Wake Forest, the Program for Leadership and Character helped to coordinate a series of events to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the sit-in.

The series included:

  • A joint trip to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro with students from Winston-Salem State and Wake Forest.
  • A screening of Mary Dalton and Susan Faust’s documentary I Am Not My Brother’s Keeper, followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Jack Monell (Winston-Salem State) and Dr. Dani Parker Moore (Wake Forest), moderated by Nigel Alston (Winston-Salem Journal).
  • A community vigil featuring the WSSU Singing Rams, WFU School of Divinity Dean Jonathan Walton, WSSU Chancellor Elwood Robinson, and WFU President Nathan Hatch, which was attended by approximately 225 citizens.

To learn more about the series, read stories from WFU, the Winston-Salem Journal, and the Winston-Salem Chronicle.