Statement

Statement of Raymond C. Pierce, President and CEO, Southern Education Foundation, on the Passing of Civil Rights Leader and Educator Robert Moses

MEDIA CONTACT:  Gretchen Wright, gwright@southerneducation.org, (202) 421-5830

July 27, 2021 (Atlanta, Georgia) —The Southern Education Foundation released the following statement from its President and CEO regarding the passing of civil rights leader and educator Robert Moses:

Robert Moses was a tireless organizer, a brilliant educator, a steadfast activist and advocate, and a truly unique figure in the civil rights movement. His life’s work – which encompassed not only organizing, advocating, and leading for voting rights and equality, but acting as a teacher and innovator who created a project to help students advance in math – are an inspiration to many and are also reflected in the goals and mission of the Southern Education Foundation.

Moses understood that people need not just voting rights but also adequate education to have access to the opportunity. For Robert Moses, civil rights encompassed equitable education. His groundbreaking Algebra Project helped countless students master mathematics and develop the kind of literacy that helped many of those student pursue successful careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

It was my great honor to speak at the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Event at the Council of Federated Organizations Civil Rights Education Center at Jackson State University. The event was held at the historic headquarters of the Mississippi Freedom Party, which Moses co-founded.  It was humbling and inspirational to speak in the very building where Robert Moses, Martin Luther King, Jr., and other civil rights icons developed strategies and planned campaigns to advance equity and social justice.

For more than 150 years, the Southern Education Foundation has existed at the intersection of civil rights and education. As we remember Robert Moses’ innumerable and invaluable contributions to that work, we will continue to advocate for education equity so that every student has access to a high-quality learning environment and the opportunity to succeed.

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Originally founded in 1867 to educate Black children and children from low-income families in the South, the Southern Education Foundation also has a long history of developing leaders in education and was a pivotal source of research and data to support legislation and litigation aimed at fighting inequity in education during the civil rights era. The organization today conducts leadership development, research, and advocacy to improve educational opportunities for low-income students and students of color and achieve educational equity in the Southern U.S. It is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Find out more at https://southerneducation.org