Barbara Lee
and Elihu Harris
Lecture Series

The Barbara Lee and Elihu Harris Lecture Series hosted Gee’s Bend Quilters on Saturday, March 4, 2023.

This in-person event took place at the Downtown Oakland Marriot, 1001 Broadway, Oakland.

We were honored and humbled to welcome Mary Ann Pettway, China Pettway and Julia Pettway. They shared some of their work and talk about quilting, storytelling and song in Black history and culture. Their art and activism is central to the transformative role community work plays in preserving the essential pluralism that fuels American democracy. A selection of quilts will be on view at the lecture.

The lecture was be complemented by an exhibition of 30 quilts by Gee’s Bend quilters at the Joyce Gordon Gallery in downtown Oakland. We invite you to check The Quilters of Gee’s Bend Catalog on this page to view a selection of quilts presented at the exhibition. 

For contact information on purchase of Gee’s Bend Collective quilts please contact our offices at (510) 434-3988, and ask for Beverly.


Chaos or Community: Where Do We Go From Here?

The Barbara Lee and Elihu Harris Lecture Series, co-produced by the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center and Peralta Community College District, promotes an ample exchange of ideas to help inspire and move forward new leadership and servantship.

Broad East Bay audiences of all ages are exposed to some of our nation’s most courageous and exemplary civil and human rights figures, engaging in creative solutions and challenges to some of the most crucial issues facing our communities today: economic inequity, voter disenfranchisement, systemic racism, violence in schools and neighborhoods, police brutality, and the contradictions and ramifications of extreme poverty.

Lectures are organized by the youth and staff at the Freedom Center, with a focus on promoting ideas and actions rooted in principles of nonviolence, and lessons from some of our nation’s most significant civil rights struggles.