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Civil rights activist Moses could get congressional gold medal

Legislation has been introduced a second time seeking a congressional gold medal to recognize Robert Parris Moses.

Images courtesy of The Algebra Project.

A congressional gold medal is sought to posthumously recognize American civil rights activist and educator Robert Parris Moses for his tireless work.

Moses passed away July 26, 2021, at age 86.

H.R. 2831 was introduced in the House April 25 by Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y.

Espaillat previously sought the gold medal for Moses with H.R. 6836, introduced Feb. 25, 2022, in the last Congress. That bill was not reported out of the House Financial Services Committee for further consideration.

Moses is regarded as an influential civil rights activist, peace activist, public education advocate, and math literacy educator.

A Harlem, New York, native, Moses earned a scholarship to Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, and subsequently obtained a master’s degree in philosophy from Harvard University in 1957.

Moses visited Mississippi in the summer of 1960 and met with local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People leaders, who indicated the need to focus on voter registration.

After teaching the 1960–1961 school year in New York, Moses returned to Mississippi where he organized and registered thousands of poor, illiterate, and rural Black residents to vote.

Moses received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1982, which he used to promote the Algebra Project.

The Algebra Project, according to the legislation, “is a non-profit dedicated to helping students from historically marginalized communities, including Black, Brown, and youth living in poverty, who often hail from low-income households. Students develop math literacy skills, which Bob Moses viewed as the path to permanently improving their life circumstances, as well as the social and economic conditions of their communities.”

Moses was co-author of Radical Equations: Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project, and co-editor of Quality Education as a Constitutional Right: Creating a Grassroots Movement to Transform America’s Schools.

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