Orange County’s Civil Rights History

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Orange County Civil Rights:
A History of an Enduring Struggle for Equality

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For many, mention of the civil rights era conjures up images of the protests, sit-ins and marches in the South. However, we in the West also contributed to achievements of the era and Orange County is no exception. From the fight for desegregated schools to the fight for LGBT rights, Orange County has shared in the nation’s civil rights tragedies and triumphs.

It is our sincere hope that this look back will empower us, as members of the Orange County family, to own our past and use it as a source of inspiration to continue the struggle to make this a county where ALL live free from violence and discrimination.

What People are Saying

“If you ever wondered about how the enduring quest for human dignity and civil rights has transpired regionally, then dedicate 10 minutes of your day to taking in this magnificent exhibit that details local events that unfolded alongside more highly publicized incidents in our nation’s quest for equality. You will be inspired by what you learn and see to imagine a future that you can help to make possible. I promise that you will learn something you did not already know!”

– Sara Lundquist, Ph.D., Vice President, Student Services, Santa Ana College


Thank You to Our Supporters

OC Human Relations would like to thank our collaborators and community partners who’ve supported the OC Civil Rights History Exhibit, including:

  • Bob Johnson
  • Kevin Cabrera
  • Robert McDonald
  • Reverend Ivan Pitts
  • California State University, Los Angeles Students
  • OC Human Relations Interns
  • OC Civil Rights Committee
  • Susan Reese, Graphic Artist

We invite you to take a virtual tour through the Exhibit by clicking on the image below:

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The exhibit now has a permanent home at the Heritage Museum of Orange County.