The Holocaust & Intolerance Museum of New Mexico (HIMNM) and the African American Museum and Cultural Center of New Mexico are presenting a panel discussion on African American civil rights in the areas of education, jobs and housing. This panel complements the current exhibit at HIMNM, “New Mexico's African American Legacy: Visible, Vital and Valuable.” The exhibit will continue through Fall of 2017. Also included is a sneak review of the HIMNM’s upcoming exhibit on the African American experience by Dr. Daniel Taradash.
Panelists are Dr. Charles Becknell Sr., Patricia Salisbury, and Joe Powdrell.
Dr. Becknell will lead the discussion on segregated schools in NM and the fight of African Americans for inclusion in the school curriculum at all levels. His book No Challenge No Change chronicles his experience of growing up in segregated New Mexico. Dr. Becknell became the first director of African American Studies. He is a retired minister and the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Ms. Salisbury will lead the discussion on discrimination in housing. Her parents, Oliver and Carnis Salisbury, were instrumental in getting civil rights ordinances in Albuquerque to stop widespread discrimination in housing. She will relate her family’s personal experience with this practice and its impact. Patricia worked at Sandia Labs recruiting students from historically black colleges to internships at the Lab. She is a retired school teacher and early childhood specialist from APS.
Mr. Powdrell will lead the discussion on job discrimination, from the civil suit against the railroads that relegated African Americans to jobs as porters and chair car attendants to his fights against continuing discrimination in job opportunities, as president of the Albuquerque Chapter of the NAACP. A champion for social justice, Joe was instrumental in the establishment of the African American Business Council and the African American Alliance of NM. He has been an entrepreneur and restaurant business owner in NM for 40 years.