WASHINGTON, DC-House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, a founding member of the group, today commented on the 50th Anniversary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Clyburn, then a student at South Carolina State College attended the meeting on the campus of Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina on Easter Weekend 1960, which was made up of 200 mostly student civil rights activist leaders from southern black colleges to organize and fight segregation in the South.  Veterans of SNCC will gather this weekend at Shaw University to commemorate the anniversary.

“When four students sat down at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro North Carolina, in February 1960, it became a catalyst-we were inspired by their action.  Students across the South began organizing non-violent resistance-sit ins, marches, protests-and we weren’t afraid of being sent to jail. We came together at Shaw that Easter weekend to share ideas, learn from one another and form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.  I think SNCC had a significant impact on the movement because it was student-led and adhered to the tenants of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s doctrine of nonviolence.

“This weekend as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of SNCC, we are reminded that true and lasting change comes from the bottom-up.  The nation still faces great challenges and our work is never done to make this country a more perfect union.  We must remain vigilant and work together to continue to move America in a new direction.”