Bellarmine News

UCLA Honors Professor Robert Singleton, Freedom Rider

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Robert SingletonRobert Singleton, professor of economics at Loyola Marymount University, has received the Ralph Bunche Humanitarian Award from UCLA’s Black Alumni Association. He was one of four preeminent Civil Rights activists to receive the prestigious award at a ceremony on March 19, 2016.

Before his time at LMU, Singleton served as the founding director of UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. Founded in 1969 as the Center for Afro-American Studies (CAAS), the center was established as a think tank that supports research on black life, history, and culture. The award and center are named after Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, a leader in the African-American community and the first to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.

Singleton has had a long career in the Civil Rights Movement. As a Freedom Rider in 1961, he joined hundreds of Americans traveling to Jackson, Mississippi, violating state laws to end public transport segregation. Upon arrival, he and his wife were arrested. He fought for racial equality during a time in which the feasibility and rationality of such activism was questioned. His brave acts of social justice became part of the larger movement towards equal opportunity in America.

Learn more about his work here:
LMU Magazine: “From Bus Rides to Obama”
UCLA: “UCLA to honor alumni who fought segregation as Freedom Riders” 
PBS: American Experience: Helen and Bob Singleton