Savannah State University Observes National Freedom Day Legacy

Thursday, January 28th, 2021

Savannah State University’s (SSU) Wright Choice initiative will host National Freedom Day observances on Monday, Feb. 1. Events include an on-campus freedom march and wreath-laying ceremony, as well as, a virtual live stream presentation in partnership with the National Freedom Day Association of Philadelphia. All events are free and open to the public.

“We are excited this year to be privileged to partner with the National Freedom Day Association of Philadelphia,” said Dr. Carolyn Jordan, coordinator of The Wright Choice Initiative mentoring program.  “Our theme is “From Captivity to Captivated.”

The Wright Choice Initiative, a Title III-funded mentoring program, is named for Richard R. Wright Sr., SSU’s first president. Wright is considered the architect of National Freedom Day, established to commemorate President Lincoln signing a resolution proposing the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States. A proclamation naming Feb. 1 National Freedom Day was signed by President Truman in 1948.

The campus commemoration will begin at noon, when student leaders will conduct a freedom march around Alexis Circle. Led by the Student Government Association, SSU NAACP, Honors Program, and Peer Mentors from The Wright Choice mentoring department, the march will conclude with a wreath-laying ceremony. Zhuri Lee Brown, the great-great-great granddaughter of Richard R. Wright Sr. will lead the ceremony, followed by a proclamation presentation by Chatham County Commission Chairman Chester A. Ellis.

In addition, at 6 p.m., in partnership with the National Freedom Day Association of Philadelphia, the Wright Choice Initiative will live stream the first virtual National Freedom Day celebration which will begin in Philadelphia at the site of the Liberty Bell under the leadership of Lorenzo Cruger, National Freedom Day Board Chair.

Historically, National Freedom Day has been celebrated in Philadelphia since 1948. Richard Robert Wright IV, J.D., Esquire will be the keynote speaker. This year, the commemoration will include high school scholarship recipients reading their winning essays. Middle school students will read the 13th ,14th, and 15th Amendments. SSU student scholarship recipients will showcase their video essays depicting this year’s theme.

The live stream will be available for viewing on and the SSU Student Life YouTube Channel. For more information, contact Dr. Jordan by calling 912-358-3147 or emailing [email protected]