To the Attendees at the Gathering on the Quad
We, the Presidents of the member institutions of the AUC Consortium, Inc. (Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman College) enthusiastically support this day of Celebration of the life of Dr. Roslyn Pope, the primary author of An Appeal for Human Rights, and we support the commemoration of the first publication of the Appeal in the Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta Journal, and Atlanta Daily World newspapers on March 9, 1960.
Sixty-three years ago, the Presidents of Clark, Morehouse, Spelman and Morris Brown colleges, along with the presidents of Atlanta University and the Interdenominational Theological Center, were initially reluctant to pledge their support of their students’ plans to march, sit-in and picket against segregation and social injustices experienced by African Americans in the city and the nation. However, the thoughtful and cogent expression of the reasons for their protests in An Appeal for Human Rights garnered the support of all the AUC Presidents.
We applaud the efforts of AUC students more than six decades ago that resulted in the desegregation of restaurants, stores, and public facilities in Atlanta and ultimately impacted the outcome of the 1960 Presidential Election.
Words have power and as Black people in Atlanta, the state and the nation face contemporary versions of many of the same injustices and inequalities protested in 1960, the Appeal can continue to serve as a touchstone and referent for those protesting injustices and inequalities.
George T French Jr., Ph.D.
President, Clark Atlanta University
David Thomas, Ph.D.
President, Morehouse College
Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, FACOG
President, Morehouse School of Medicine
Helene Gayle, Ph.D.
President, Spelman College
Michael Hodge, Ph.D.
Atlanta University Center Consortium
About the AUCC
The Atlanta University Center Consortium, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Georgia, formed in 1929 to operate on behalf of its member institutions–Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman College—is the world’s oldest and largest association of historically Black colleges and universities. The Consortium is a vibrant intellectual community with a long tradition of scholarship, service, and community engagement.