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Selected Past Events

June 7, 2016 Alabama Department of Archives & History, Montgomery AL: This Bright Light of Ours: Stories from the 1965 Voting Rights Fight in Wilcox County, Alabama

Book Talk with music, archival slides and stories. Watch the video: Gitin Book Talk

 June 6, 2016  2-3:30 PM Selma Interpretive Center, National Park Service Presents This Bright Light of Ours: Stories from the 1965 Voting Rights Fight in Wilcox County, Alabama

Book Talk and Book Signing with Maria Gitin at the Larry B Striplin Performing Arts Center, 1000 Selma Ave., Selma, AL 36701

Oct 2016 Southern Christian Leadership (SCLC) Summer Conference on Community Organizing and Political Education (SCOPE) 50th Anniversary Reunion, Atlanta GA, presenter, panelist, workshop leader and conference planning committee.

August 2015 West Coast Voting Rights Act 50th Anniversary Celebration, Salinas, CA with Cruz Reynoso, former justice of the California Supreme Court

April 21, 2015 Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA – Holmes Africana Lecturer

Past & Present: A Gathering With Freedom Movement Veterans, Stanford University- Organizer and participant in a 50 year reunion of West Coast Civil Rights Veterans co-sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University and by the Bay Area Civil Rights Veterans. Watch the video:

Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Voices of the 1965 Voting Rights Fight, Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD) San Francisco Panel featured: Maria Gitin, Bruce Hartford, Charles Bonner and Wazir Peacock.

Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford University, CA

Maria Gitin was the Martin Luther King Jr Celebration speaker. Sponsored by Black Community Services Center, the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute

Peace United Church, Santa Cruz CA- Recipient of the 2015 Amos Award for social justice.

Monterey County YWCA at Monterey Institute of International Studies , Monterey, CA – Racial Justice speaker

King County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration , Paramount Theater, Seattle WA – Keynote speaker for County celebration honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. 650 attended.

Open Window School, Bellevue WA – Presented multi-media talk for MLK Grade 5-8 Student Assembly and met with 8th grade students.  400 in attendance

Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle WA – Author Book signing event.


Southern Historical Association, Hilton, Atlanta, GA – Freedom Now! Perspectives on the Struggle for Civil Rights in Wilcox County. Panelist in discussion moderated by Dr. Martha Jane Brazy

University of South Alabama, Mobile AL This Bright Light of Ours: Black & White Reflections on MLK – Lecture with Lewis V Baldwin

Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA – Reading, book signing with Introduction by George Ow Jr.

Copperfield’s Books Petaluma, Petaluma CA

This Bright Light of Ours: Reading, book signing in conjunction with Maria’s Petaluma High School Class of 1964 50th Reunion

Eso Won Bookstore, Los Angeles, CA

This Bright Light of Ours: Reading, book signing at historic Eso Won Bookstore, Introduction by Judge Kelvin D Filer

Voices from the Frontlines with Eric Mann, Los Angeles

Radio interview on Pacifica KPFK 90.7 FM

March 6, 2014: Powell Convention Center 211 Claiborne Street, Camden, AL

This Bright Light of Ours: A Celebration of Wilcox County Voting Rights, reading, book signing and reception. A Memorial slide show and presentation of the individuals and families in the book was part of this festive Alabama book launch celebration. Hosted by the Wilcox Section of the NCNW. Black Belt Treasures hosted the book sales.

March 8 2014: 5-7 PM : Book Signing, St James Hotel, Selma, AL

March 11, 2014  Speak up! Interview with Eric Reynolds FOX 10 Mobile, Al.

March 13, 2014: Museum of History, Mobile, AL

This Bright Light Of Ours: A Celebration of Wilcox County Voting Rights, reading, book signing and reception. View audience reaction:

February 20, 2014: Temple Beth El, Aptos, CA

This Bright Light of Ours, reading, book signing and hosted reception. Introduction by Watsonville Mayor Karina Cervantez and Rabbi Paula Marcus. Historic photo slide show honoring Bob Fitch. More than 100 people attended this celebration. Congressional, California Sate Legislature and City of Watsonville Proclamations were presented to Maria Gitin for her lifetime commitment to voting rights and diversity.

Sample Pre-Publication Appearances

Voting Rights Then & Now, moderator and panelist, The Center for Social Justice Forum, Holy Names University, Oakland, CA,February 15, 2014.

The Voice of Conscience: Civil Rights, Post Civil Rights and the Future Freedom Struggle Conference Plenary Speaker, Vanderbilt University, November 9, 2013.

The March on Washington@50 Symposium, moderator and panelist, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA August 17, 2013.  

Forging Alliances And Building Coalitions, California Social Studies Conference, panelist, Burlingame, CA, March 9, 2013.

This Bright Light of Ours: Presenter Cabrillo College Humanities Classes 2012-2013

The Beloved Community, MLK Observance Speaker, Temple Beth El, Aptos, CA, January 18, 2013.

Voting Rights Veterans, presenter, Seattle City Attorney’s office, Seattle, WA, November 8, 2012.

This Bright Light of Ours 1965: Stories from a Teenage Freedom Fighter in Rural Alabama, Guest lecturer, class presentations and faculty discussion. Sponsored by Department of History, USA Gender Studies program – College of Arts and Sciences, African-American Studies program, and USA Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, Feb 28-Mar 1, 2012.

Women in the Civil Rights Movement, lecturer Women’s History Class, Colorado State University-Pueblo, CO (Skype) March 22, 2012 and (Teleconference) November 16, 2011.

SNCC 50th Anniversary, reader in Freedom Movement event with Bay Area Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, March 27, 2010.


“The Rankins Files” Radio Interview, March 11, 2014 with Joy Crawford-Washington, live on DIXIE 94.5 FM/WHOD

Interview with musician activist Chili Most live Aug 1st on WVFG 107.5 FM, Uniontown, AL, August 1, 2013.

Television Interviews with Eric Reynolds
Channel 10 Fox News, Mobile AL, March 10, 2012 and March 13, 2014.