Blackhawk Technical College: Host diversity week

Gary Kohn (608) 757-7769 or cell (608) 436-9578
[email protected]

Blackhawk Technical College to host Diversity Week

JANESVILLE, WI – The dramatic Freedom Summer of 1964, considered by many historians the most pivotal year of the U.S. civil rights movement, is one of four provocative presentations planned for Diversity Week starting Nov. 14 at Blackhawk Technical College.

Michael Edmonds, the deputy director of the Library-Archives division at the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison, will describe how America changed forever during the summer of 1964 and why one of the nation’s premier research collections on civil rights ended up in Wisconsin during a presentation at noon, Tuesday, Nov. 17, at the Student Success Center of BTC’s Central Campus.

This and all Diversity Week events are open to the public.

The celebration of our nation and area’s diversity begins on Saturday, Nov. 14th, at the Milton House in Milton, a site of our area’s underground railroad stop that helped escaped slaves flee to freedom prior to the Civil War. The tour and following presentation runs from 10 a.m. to noon.

On Monday, Nov. 16th, Darla Lannert, a transgender Vietnam War veteran who represents the OutReach LGBT Community Center in Madison, will hold a discussion and question and answer session on LGBT issues in the Blackhawk Room at noon.
Lannert serves on a diversity panel in Madison that works with police and other agencies to address issues related to the transgender community. Information on the OutReach LGBT Community Center is available at

Kathleen Miller, who is on staff at the Counseling Care Center of Beloit Memorial Hospital, will close out Diversity Week with a discussion focusing on community mental health resources that are available. Miller, whose work emphasizes treatment of traumatic stress and grief, will speak at noon of Wednesday, Nov. 18, in the Blackhawk Room.

Edmonds is the designer of the Historical Society’s online archive of 40,000 documents pertaining to the summer of 1964 when volunteers and activists joined Mississippi residents in a campaign to secure voting rights and challenge Jim Crow laws. Edmonds also has curated a travelling exhibit and edited a book of eyewitness accounts which will be available at the presentation.

Blackhawk Technical College is part of the Wisconsin Technical College System. BTC has five campus locations in Monroe, Milton, Beloit and Janesville, WI offering more than 50 programs including two-year associate degrees, one- and two-year technical diplomas and short-term technical diplomas. In addition, BTC is a major provider of customized training and technical assistance for the Rock and Green County business community. More than half of all adults living in Wisconsin have accessed the technical colleges for education and training during the last decade.