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Press Release - Public Invited to Attend Free Governor’s History Conference on Civil Rights and Social Justice

Contact: Erik Holland, 701.328.2792
or Kim Jondahl, 701.328.1476

Public Invited to Attend Free Governor’s History Conference on Civil Rights and Social Justice

BISMARCK – Dr. Terrence Roberts, a nationally acclaimed speaker and former Little Rock Nine student, will be the keynote of the 25th annual Governor’s History Conference on Saturday, Sept. 21. The public is invited to attend this free conference taking place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the BSC National Energy Center of Excellence in Bismarck. This year’s theme is “Civil Rights and Social Justice.” The conference is hosted by the State Historical Society of North Dakota and is partially sponsored by the Bismarck Tribune and United Printing.

Dr. Roberts made history as a member of the Little Rock Nine, the nine African-American students who helped to desegregate Arkansas’ Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The world watched as students braved intimidation and threats from those who opposed integration of the formerly all-white high school. Dr. Roberts is currently CEO of Terrence J. Roberts & Associates, a management consultant firm devoted to fair and equitable practices.

Additional speakers are Rep. Joshua Boschee of Fargo, North Dakota U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon, Dakota Institute Director Clay Jenkinson, United Tribes Technical College President Dr. David Gipp, and Carl Oberholtzer, a Fargo retired social studies teacher and historian.

“Dr. Roberts and Mr. Oberholtzer have been instrumental in developing The Road to Little Rock: One Judge, Nine Students classroom materials,” said Erik Holland, curator of education for the State Historical Society and conference organizer. “This is a rare and wonderful opportunity for teachers as well as the public to make direct connections with history makers.” The high school curriculum will be provided to each school district in North Dakota in fall 2013. It includes a 30-minute DVD that blends interviews of key individuals in the Little Rock school desegregation case with activities for teachers to use in classrooms.

“We invite the public to take part in this thoughtful day of conversation and lectures,” said Kimberly Jondahl, Communications and Education director with the State Historical Society. “The range of speakers and topics is outstanding. Participants will explore important human rights issues from the time of Little Rock Nine in 1957 to Robert Kennedy’s views on civil rights to contemporary issues including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality in North Dakota.”

The North Dakota Heritage Foundation annual meeting will take place at noon during a complimentary lunch for all conference participants. The agency’s annual awards for outstanding achievements in the field of history will also be presented during the luncheon.

The event and lunch are free, but registration is required. Register online and find complete details at For more information, email or call 701.328.2799.

Dr. Roberts will also give a public presentation during a free Bismarck premier of the 30-minute film, The Road to Little Rock, on Friday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. at Bismarck State College, Sidney J. Lee Auditorium. Find more information at

For The Road to Little Rock film trailer and more information:

For Governor’s History Conference information:

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Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
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