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Announcing our 2019 Annual Banquet Speaker!

Our 2019 Annual Banquet is fast approaching on Sunday, May 19, and we are looking forward to sharing in a wonderful evening full of family fun and celebration with you. We are also overjoyed to announce this year’s keynote speaker– Civil Rights leader Diane Nash!

You do not want to miss your chance to hear from Diane Nash as we celebrate PIIN’s nineteenth year fighting for justice in Western Pennsylvania.

Don’t miss out: purchase your banquet tickets today!

Diane Nash is an acclaimed American civil rights activist. While a student in Nashville at Fisk University, Nash witnessed southern racial segregation for the first time in her life. In 1959, she attended nonviolent protest workshops led by Reverend James Lawson who was affiliated with the Nashville Christian Leadership Conference. Later that year she protested exclusionary racial policies by participating in impromptu sit-ins at Nashville’s downtown lunch counters. Nash was elected chair of the Student Central Committee because of her nonviolent protest philosophy and her reputation from these sit-ins.

Nash organized and led many of the protests which ultimately involved hundreds of black and white area college students. As a result, by early April Nashville Mayor Ben West publicly called for the desegregation of Nashville’s lunch counters and organized negotiations between Nash and other student leaders and downtown business interests. Because of these negotiations, on May 10, 1960 Nashville, Tennessee became the first southern city to desegregate lunch counters.

Meanwhile Nash and other students from across the South assembled in Raleigh, North Carolina at the urging of NAACP activist Ella Baker. There they founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in April 1960.

Nash married civil rights activist James Bevel in 1961 and moved to Jackson, Mississippi where she began organizing voter registration and school desegregation campaigns for SCLC. Arrested dozens of times for their civil rights work in Mississippi and Alabama in the early 1960s, Nash and her husband, James Bevel, received SCLC’s Rosa Parks award from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1965. Dr. King cited especially their contributions to the Selma Right-to-vote movement that eventually led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Don’t miss out: purchase your banquet tickets today!

Tickets and Sponsorship opportunities remain available for our banquet. If you are interested in learning more, please contact the PIIN Office at, or call 412-621-9230.