Pioneering Civil Rights Activist and Filmmaker Judy Richardson to Visit Dubuque


Collins Eboh
Equity Coordinator
Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque

David Schmitz
Executive Director
Dubuque Museum of Art
563.557.1851 x112

For immediate release

DUBUQUE, IA — In conjunction with the Dubuque Museum’s new exhibit on African American art, the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque will sponsor a free event in March with civil rights activist, educator and documentary filmmaker Judy Richardson.

The public is invited to attend Richardson’s featured speech, titled "Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Little-Known Stories of the Civil Rights Movement," March 7, 2019 at Roosevelt Middle School. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the talk will begin at 6:30. The museum also will host an invitation-only fundraising lunch with Richardson on March 7, prior to her speech, to benefit art museum programming and endowed scholarships for Dubuque-area minority students.

In her talk, Richardson will highlight stories of the Civil Rights Movement's lesser-known heroes — “ordinary” people who were both courageous and strategically brilliant; boots-on-the-ground activists and leaders.

"People like Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, E.D. Nixon and Amzie Moore provided the grounding and the guidance that allowed the Civil Rights Movement to flourish," Richardson says. "These were the leaders who influenced us as young organizers in SNCC, the only national civil rights group founded and run by young people, such as Congressman John Lewis, who was chair of the SNCC." 

Richardson’s visit and talk are made possible by the Walmart Foundation, which awarded a major grant to the Community Foundation in April 2018 to support work that fosters inclusive communities.

In the 1960s, Richardson was at the forefront the Civil Rights Movement, and she has spent the subsequent years continuing her work around civil rights. From 1963 to 1965, Richardson was on the staff of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which organized numerous anti-segregation demonstrations, particularly in the South. In 1965, she was the office manager for Julian Bond’s successful first campaign for the Georgia House of Representatives.

In 1978, Richardson entered the world of film, serving as associate producer on all 14 hours of the seminal PBS series “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement.” The series was nominated for an Academy Award and won six Emmys, the George Foster Peabody Award and numerous other accolades.

Later, Richardson and five other SNCC women activists co-edited “Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC,” an anthology that includes the memoirs of 52 courageous women on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement.

Richardson was awarded an honorary doctorate by Swarthmore College, was a distinguished visiting professor at Brown University and held a distinguished guest residency in film at Connecticut College.

Her visit to Dubuque is in conjunction with the Dubuque Museum of Art’s exhibition African American Art of the 20th Century. Open now through April 14, the exhibit was organized by and drawn from the collection of the world-renowned Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Learn more about the exhibit at

About the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque
The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque’s mission is to strengthen communities and inspire giving. Learn more at

About the Dubuque Museum of Art 
The Dubuque Museum of Art (DuMA), founded in 1874 and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in 2004, is Iowa’s oldest cultural institution. Named a national affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in 2016, DuMA’s mission is to excite, engage and serve diverse communities within the Tri-State area through our collections, exhibitions and educational programs. We connect generations of people to their cultural heritage and exceptional art. Learn more at

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About Us
Founded in 2002, the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque strengthens communities and inspires giving. We are dedicated to improving the quality of life throughout Northeast Iowa by serving donors, making grants to local nonprofit organizations, and providing community leadership through convening and collaboration. Guided by the values of integrity, equity and inclusion, collaboration, excellence and innovation, we seek to ensure a vibrant and inclusive Greater Dubuque region with resources and opportunity for all.