Street sign’s namesake was a Civil Rights leader

Ever noticed that the street signs on Murray Street—right in front of the Union—have a second name, “C.T. Vivian Way”?

Maybe when you’re walking to and from class, the last thing on your mind is why certain streets are named the way they are. But this street sign is one you should definitely take note of from now on.

The man behind the name is Cordy Tindell Vivian, a WIU alumnus who was a close friend and lieutenant of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who just happened to be on campus last Friday to speak about his educational experiences as part of the national HistoryMakers’ program.

picture of C.T. Vivian greeting students and staff

WIU alumnus and Civil Rights activist C.T. Vivian, right, greets students and staff at WIU on Sept. 17.

picture of C.T. Vivian speaking at WIU

Vivian, a Macomb native, was a close friend and lieutenant of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In his Sept. 17 speech at Western, Vivian, a Macomb native, said today’s minority students are not receiving the level of education, or educational support, they can and should be.

“What we did for civil rights then, we’ve got to do that in education now,” he said. “There’s got to be an education movement that’s just as important as the Civil Rights Movement was.”

Read the full story about Vivian’s visit here.

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