Mater Dei Students attend private screening of “Turning 15 On The Road To Freedom” and meet Civil Rights Icon Linda Blackmon Lowery


At age 15, Lynda Blackmon Lowery marched on “Bloody Sunday” and “Turn Around Tuesday,” and is the youngest marcher to walk every step of the successful march from Selma to Montgomery. Her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement has been the foundation for her work throughout her life. She is the author of the illustrated memoir Turning 15 On The Road To Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March. Ms. Lowery began her Civil Rights activism in Selma, Alabama, in the early 1960s, when the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) activists organized Lowery and other area children and teenagers to participate in the Civil Rights Movement. Ms. Lowery’s early involvement in the struggle against prejudice has been the foundation for her civil and human rights work throughout her life.

On Tuesday, November 17, 2020, George Anthony, Director of The MDP Emerging Leaders program, and three students, Oliva Crowe (MDP ‘24), Abigail O’Sullivan (MDP ‘24) and Garrett Nolan (MDP ‘24) were invited to attend a private screening of the soon to be released video of Turning 15 On The Road To Freedom. Following the film, Mr. Anthony and the students were allowed to engage a distinguished panel of Civil Rights leaders including Linda Lowery, Queade Norah who played Ms. Lowery, and Dr. Ericka Henderson of Facing History and Ourselves. The panel addressed Mr. Anthony’s question regarding the role educators play in moving the message of Civil Rights action forward and then invited Garret Nolan and Abigail O’Sullivan to join the panel and address their questions. Garrett had the opportunity to speak with Ms. Lowery personally where he asked about her struggle and if she could go back, what advice would she give to her 14-year-old self. Ms. Lowery was very moved by this question and addressed in the manner of do not accept what you have been given or won, continue to strive to create a better world. The program ended when panelist Mr. Lindy Crescitelli, Chair of The Gandhi King Season for Non-Violence and Pathways To Peace UN Representative, talked about the role Ms. Lowery has played in bringing inter-generational communities together in their continued pursuits to honor the memory and the struggle of The Civil Rights Movement yesterday and today.


George Anthony was overwhelmed by the power of yesterday’s message and said, “The Emerging Leaders program will be working with The Gandhi King Season for Non-Violence organization bringing together student voices where their project can impact thousands upon thousands building better communities where we all can benefit.”

Students Oliva Crowe, Abigail O’Sullivan and Garret Nolan share their experiences:

“When learning U.S. history, we read about the Civil Rights movement. We read about Martin Luther King Jr., we read about Rosa Parks, and we read about countless other aspects of the subject, however, we don’t learn about the “unique parts” of a story. What I mean by this statement is that we learn about the big picture, but we don’t learn about the average people like you and me who did their part to make history. Tonight, I was lucky enough to see a screening of Turning 15 On The Road To Freedom. It was eye-opening. The story was about a fifteen-year-old girl named Lynda Blackmon Lowery who takes part in peaceful protests, and the march to Birmingham, Alabama. It was an interesting experience to see someone my age take part in such a pivotal part of history. After, we had an open panel discussion. I asked, ‘If you could go back in time and give your fourteen-year-old self-one piece of advice, what would it be?’ She responded by saying that, ‘You must never lose the drive, and you must never stop.’ This was a very enlightening presentation.”

- Garrett Nolan

“I am very pleased that I was able to attend at virtual screening of Turning 15 On The Road To Freedom. I have heard of this story in the past, but I never knew very much about it. I’ve heard about what happened on Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama and hearing about it from a 14-year-old girl’s perspective was amazing. Hearing about Jim Crow Laws and how the law could separate humans from other humans due to race, color or age is horrifying. I’m now scared and concerned if hate and racism continue to this day that this is going to become something more relevant in the times to come. So, thank you, Ms. Lowery for sharing your story and giving many children someone to look up to.”

- Abigail O’Sullivan

“It was so enlightening to hear firsthand the struggles of those who came before me to march for the simple reason to vote. Linda Lowery said “A Voteless Nation is a Hopeless Nation”. We all have a role to play.”

- Oliva Crowe



On December 8th students from The Mater Dei Prep Global Institute will be attending a SPECIAL EVENT: "Combating a Pandemic of Misinformation"

In this age of COVID-19, the rapid spread of misinformation may be as dangerous as the virus itself.  On December 8th, students will examine why people believe and spread misinformation, and we have invited media professionals to offer techniques and resources that help students (and educators) recognize “red flags” of misinformation (“fake news”), teaching concrete steps on how to identify bias and how to differentiate between credible sources non-credible ones.   The Student Panel will direct special attention to Social Media, and we will hear from UN communications professionals about special initiatives underway to stem the spread of misinformation and how educators and students can participate in this effort.

This webinar will be presented on

Tuesday, December 8, 2020, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm.

Zoom Webinar


For additional information regarding The Mater Dei Prep Global Institute of Emerging Leaders please contact George Anthony at or visit