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Selected Past Events

Columbia University Nonprofit Management presents: Paradigm Shift: New Directions and Opportunities for Diversity in Fundraising due to Racial Equity Awakening and Coronavirus- August 10, 2020

This webinar was presented by four senior nonprofit, academic, and human equity leaders. Moderated by  E. Ramone Segree 
Lecturer, Columbia University, School of Professional Studies, Nonprofit Management Program, Senior Director, Development, Alumni Affairs, Education, NYU Langone Health, NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Panelists:  Maria Gitin , Author and Civil Rights Veteran | Retired Fundraising Professional; Ruby Love Principal, Love Resource Development Group and Alphonce Brown, Interim Director, Development and Alumni Relation, Stetson University College of Law

Vote! Your Voice is Your Vote/ ¡Vote! Su Voto es Su Voz Exhibit and presentations at Pajaro Valley Arts, Watsonville CA
Maria Gitin served as both curator and presenter of this three month long exhibit, accompanied by a film series presented by Watsonville Film Festival and a discussion series on current and historic voting rights. 

Alabama Department of Archives & History, Montgomery AL: This Bright Light of Ours: Stories from the 1965 Voting Rights Fight in Wilcox County, Alabama. Watch the video: Gitin Book Talk

Selma Interpretive Center, National Park Service Presents This Bright Light of Ours: Stories from the 1965 Voting Rights Fight in Wilcox County, Alabama

 “Lessons from 50 years of Change”,  Chandler 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 activists Adelina Nicholls and Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson. Maria Gitin and Robert Powell presented their personal stories to Dr Robert Franklin’s graduate seminar, accompanied by historic slides. View the panel video:

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.

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

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.

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

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. 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 Martin Luther King Jr Celebration speaker.

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.

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

Radio & Television

Interview with Eric Mann Pacifica KPFK 90.7 FM

Interview with Deborah Rankins, “The Rankins File” DIXIE 94.5 FM/WHOD

Interview with Eric Reynolds, FOX 10

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

“This Bright Light of Ours” Powell Convention Center, 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. 110 attended.

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:

Book Launch February 10, 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.


Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA , Copperfield’s Books Petaluma, Petaluma CA, Eso Won Bookstore, Los Angeles, CA,Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle WA; Book Signing, St James Hotel, Selma Jubilee, AL

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.