Jonathan Daniels events at Keene State College

Keene State College will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and the death of local civil rights activist, Jonathan Daniels, with a documentary screening and a panel conversation featuring volunteers from Freedom Summer 1964.

Keene State Professors Emeriti Larry Benaquist and Bill Sullivan have produced a documentary titled “Here Am I, Send Me: The Journey of Jonathan Daniels”, which chronicles the life and work of Daniels, who was born in Keene, NH. 

This documentary film, “Here Am I, Send Me” will air on New Hampshire Public Television on April 16 at 9 p.m.; April 25 at 3 a.m. and 10 p.m.; April 26 at 3 p.m. and on April 29 at 5 a.m. A screening with Benaquist and Sullivan will be held at the Keene State’s Redfern Arts Center, on Saturday, April 18, at 10 a.m. It will include a question and answer session with both producers, and will be free and open to the public.

Daniels was murdered while saving another young activist on August 20, 1965 in Alabama. The film will be shown on New Hampshire Public Television, and during the Monadnock International Film Festival later this month.

A panel discussion on Freedom Summer 1964 will be held on April 15 from 4-6 pm in the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery conference room. Freedom Summer 1964 volunteers conducted a voter registration project in Mississippi and part of a larger effort by civil rights groups to expand voting rights of African Americans in the South. Freedom Summer was critical to President Lyndon Johnson’s decision to press the United States Congress for the Voting Rights Act.

Panelists include:

Carl Pomerance who said, “I was part of Mississippi Freedom Summer when I was 19. When I came back I became active in the student movement for peace and human rights.”

Jim Kates who has co-directed the non-profit literary publishing house Zephyr Press, which published ”Letters from Mississippi: Reports from Civil Rights Volunteers & Poetry of the 1964 Freedom Summer”.

Nancy Schieffelin, who was a Freedom School teacher and voter registration worker in Greenville, Mississippi, during Freedom Summer of 1964. She continued her work in the Roxbury community in Boston, running a day camp and after school programs with the African American children there.

John Suter who served in the Peace Corps in Somalia from 1966 to 1968. He is a facilitator for Talking Circles on Race and Racism in Ithaca, which brings together a small group of racially diverse participants over a five-week period to discuss their personal experiences with racial identity, race issues and racism.

The panel event is free and open to the public and is sponsored by Keene State College’s History Department, Journalism Department, Political Science Department, and Mason Library and the School of Arts and Humanities.