Ithaca College President Shirley M. Collado joined speakers from across the community and around the country to celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights icon Dorothy Cotton at Cornell University on Saturday, August 11.
“Dorothy challenged us to embrace our calling as contributing citizens of the world, to be open to discovering our own tremendous power,” Collado said in remarks delivered at the event. “She acknowledged the difficulty embedded within this task, particularly for people from communities that have been disenfranchised and pushed down.”
Cotton worked alongside Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement as the educational director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She led the Citizenship Education Program, which helped instruct the disenfranchised on the importance of political participation, voter registration and nonviolent protest. From 1982 to 1991, Cotton served as director of student activities at Cornell University, and in 2010 the Center for Transformative Action, a Cornell affiliate, established the Dorothy Cotton Institute to promote a global community for civil and human rights leadership.