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Speaking Schedule


Journalist Alexandra Marvar explores conflicting views of notorious Wilcox County Sheriff “Lummie” Jenkins in the context of  Southern sheriffs during the Civil Rights Movement. Civil rights workers Maria Gitin and Robert Powell were interviewed for this character study. Both were just teenagers when they were arrested by Jenkins. Powell and other Wilcox resident activists were repeatedly harassed and arrested.

Continued Work to Get Out the Vote: 

Maria Gitin is co-curating ¡Vote! Su Vote es Su Voz / Vote! Your Vote is Your Voice with Pajaro Valley Arts. Watch for this exciting exhibit, event and action series coming April 3-May 26, 2019.


October 17, 2018 “Lessons from 50 years of Change”,  Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Laney Legacy Program in Moral Leadership Activists Panel. 7 PM Canon Chapel at Chandler on Emory Campus. 

Civil Rights Veterans Maria Gitin and Johnny Parham engaged in a lively dialog with younger activists Adelina Nicholls and Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson to discuss lessons learned. Also on October 17, Maria Gitin and Robert Powell presented their personal stories to Dr Robert Franklin’s graduate seminar, accompanied by historic slides. View the panel video:

January 19, 2017 
Presidio of Monterey Defense Language Institute
Martin Luther King Jr. Observance, Maria Gitin was the featured Guest Speaker for 400 members of the military at the Defense Language Institute.

February 23, 2017 
Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
Maria Gitin read, and told stories, followed by a book signing. Open to students and general public

Preview a Maria Gitin Presentation:

Audiences have enjoyed more than 50 presentations by Maria Gitin since the publication of “This Bright Light of Ours” in 2014.  Universities, bookstores, museums, churches and temples, community centers, nonprofit organizations, government entities, public and private schools have hosted events. Maria’s presentations include first hand testimony, music and photos from grassroots veterans of the 1965 civil rights movement. Available formats: keynote presentation & discussion, panels and interactive Skype and FaceTime. Watch a video of a typical presentation: Alabama Department of Archives & History

 Comments about Maria Gitin’s Presentations:

Maria Gitin tells her own story on her own terms, giving readers (and listeners) an honest rendering of one woman’s experience on the front lines of struggle against a deeply entrenched system of racial oppression. —
Clarence Mohr, Chair, History Department, University of South Alabama

Maria Gitin at Mobile History Museum 2014 Video

You are a walking encyclopedia. The history you have gathered regarding this county is truly beyond reproach. – Carolyn Smith-Taylor, daughter of Wilcox County Freedom Fighters, Rev Frank and Mrs Etta Pearl Smith

Maria’s passion, compassion, and love for the people of Wilcox County shines through in her lecture. I count it a privilege to meet someone who is so genuine and is part of living history. – DeeAnn, student University of South Alabama

This Bright Light of OursSpeaking Engagements and Media Inquiries
Maria Gitin
Tel: 831.708.2560
Cel: 831.334.6176