Union acknowledges Rosa Parks in resolution

November 4, 2005

On Sunday evening, the Brandeis University Senate passed the Rosa Parks Resolution, which honored the life and accomplishments of the Civil Rights matriarch in memorial of her passing on Monday, October 24.

The resolution was passed in order to [recognize] and [celebrate] the extraordinary life and contributions of Rosa Louise Parks, particularly her refusal to give up her seat on the bus, as well as to encourage the Brandeis University community to recognize and celebrate this courageous act and honor her memory by working with the same courage, dignity, and determination, said East Quad Senator Jacob Baime 08, who spearheaded the resolution.

Parks passed away October 24 in her Detroit home at the age of 92, leaving behind a legacy that stretches almost 50 years. Her refusal to relinquish her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery, AL, led to Montgomery African-Americans boycotting buses for over a year. Many attribute Mrs. Parks actions as the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s.

Parks funeral, which occurred October 31, drew 40,000 people, who tearfully sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic and We Shall Overcome as they laid her body to rest in Washington, D.C.

I doubt there is anyone at Brandeis can say that the actions of Rosa Parks and their resulting societal changes did not have an impact on them, said Baime. She changed our nation forever.

Baime was quick to state that the Resolution was not politically-oriented, but instead generated out of honor and respect: Its the proper thing for us to do, especially at Brandeis University, where we pride ourselves for putting social justice in our mission statement, he said. We care about things beyond ourselves, [and] that our society is just … that is a very unique feature at Brandeis: we are a community that cares.

Brandeis University is not the first to have commemorated the life of Rosa Parks: according to custom, legislative bodies as far up as the United States Senate will, on occasion, pass resolutions to honor outstanding citizens posthumously as a symbol of respect. The U.S. Senate has also passed a Rosa Parks Resolution, also known as Senate Resolution 287.

Its [about] taking a moment to pause and remember her contribution, said Baime. Its not a political thingits just that we owe her this much.

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