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Social activists to speak at Virginia Tech March 28


BLACKSBURG, Va., March 20, 2006 – Internationally known musicians and social activists, Guy and Candie Carawan, will perform “We Shall Overcome: The Sound of Social Activism” on March 28, 7 p.m., in the Chemistry/Physics building, Room 130, on the Virginia Tech campus.

This presentation is sponsored by Virginia Tech’s Residential Leadership Community, the Humanities Program, and the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. It is free and open to the public.

Guy and Candie Carawan have worked at the Highlander Center in Tennessee for more than 40 years and were instrumental in teaching songs of protest to organizers of the Civil Rights Movement who came to Highlander to study grass roots organizing. In 1960, Guy passed on songs such as We Shall Overcome and Keep Your Eyes on the Prize to the students who were about to fan out across the South and eventually to change the country. This performance is the culmination of the Commonwealth Humanities Endowment Week, which is focusing this year on the theme, “Art and Social Change.”

Guy and Candie Carawan have combined a career of singing and performing with four decades of cultural work at the Highlander Center in New Market, Tenn. A deep appreciation for southern people and traditions has led them to spend years celebrating folk culture and promoting grassroots activism in Appalachia and the South. The authors of three books, Voices from the Mountains, Sing for Freedom, and Ain’t You Got a Right to the Tree of Life, they have also produced more than twenty documentary recordings. In their work at Highlander, they have organized dozens of cultural workshops and given support to hundreds of local community artists and cultural activists.

Guy is a multi-instrumentalist on guitar, banjo, hammered dulcimer, autoharp and tin whistle. Candie lends beautiful vocal harmony. Their programs include both traditional and contemporary songs and tell a history of southern struggle while delighting and entertaining people of all ages.

For information, call 549-231-9593.