TROY Rosa Parks Museum to host forum on fair housing

Posted: Thursday, 02 April 2009

MONTGOMERY—A forum examining the impact of the Chicago Freedom Movement and the current state of fair housing in the nation will be held at Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum on Thursday, April 16.

The museum and the Central Alabama Fair Housing Center are celebrating Fair Housing Month with the forum “How Far We Marched: The Chicago Freedom Movement’s Relevance to the Modern Struggle for Fair Housing."

The 1965-1966 Chicago Freedom Movement was the first large-scale fair housing campaign in the nation.

Appearing on the forum panel will be Shanna Smith, president and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance. Smith has been engaged in fair housing enforcement, education and research for 34 years and has testified frequently before both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on issues related to fair housing.

She has been executive director of the NFHA in Toledo, Ohio for the past 15 years.

Joining Smith in the discussion will be Bernard J. Kleina, executive director of the HOPE Fair Housing Center in Illinois, and Faith Cooper, executive director of the CAFHC.

The doors open at 5:30 p.m. and light refreshments will be served. The forum will begin at 6 p.m.

In addition to the forum, an exhibition of more than 50 color photographs taken by Kleina during the Chicago Freedom Movement demonstrations will be on display in the museum gallery from April 3 through May 31.

The rarely seen photos include candid images of civil rights leaders including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King, Jesse Jackson, former Atlanta mayor and United Nations ambassador Andrew Young, comedian Dick Gregory and gospel singer Mahalia Jackson.

Kleina will discuss the exhibition during a gallery talk at the museum on Saturday, April 18, at 11:30 a.m.

For information, contact the museum at 334-241-8615 or online at