Press Releases


May 16, 2011


Milwaukee, Wis. (May 4, 2011) - When the 10-day anniversary bus trip takes off on May 6, to retrace the 1961 Freedom Ride from Washington, D.C. to Jackson, Mississippi, two local students will be among the 40 college students chosen to accompany the original Freedom Riders, who risked their lives to bring attention to their cause.

The 2011 Student Freedom Ride is the centerpiece of a major outreach campaign leading up to the May 16, PBS American Experience broadcast of Stanley Nelson's acclaimed film FREEDOM RIDERS, the powerful and inspirational story of the more than 400 black and white men and women who, using non-violent tactics, challenged segregated facilities in the South in 1961. This ride is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for college students committed to learning from history and applying those lessons today, the ride is also a catalyst for a national conversation about the role of civic engagement today.

The Milwaukee students, who were selected to take the honor ride, are Maricela Aguilar of Marquette University's Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2012, whose major is political science and English literature. The second student is Alicia Skeeter of the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee, Class of 2013, whose major is education policy and community studies. Both women are from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their journey can be followed at

Maricela is a recipient of the Marquette University Urban Scholar Award and is presently a student in the honors program. She acts as an organizer with Youth Empowered in the Struggle, serves on the board for Voces de la Frontera, and was chosen to serve on the national coordinating committee of the United We Dream Network.

Alicia enjoys human interaction, good conversation, and building relationships. She is passionate about education and learning about why inequality exists through understanding history. In the future, Alicia hopes to join those already serving to improve Milwaukee Public Schools, where she attended as a child, to ensure all students regardless of background can experience the freedom obtained through education. She also enjoys spoken word performances.

FREEDOM RIDERS: An American Experience premieres on MPTV Channel 10.1 on May 16 at 8 p.m. Earlier in the evening at 6:30, a locally produced companion program FREEDOM WALKERS FOR MILWAUKEE will air. Additional airdates are at and

Other resources are PBS American Experience FREEDOM RIDERS website at and

MPTV is a community-supported service of Milwaukee Area Technical College. Since its inception, MPTV has inspired, entertained, and impacted the residents of Southeastern Wisconsin. Today, MPTV offers viewers a family of 10 digital channels, a full-service website, locally produced programming, outreach services for all ages, and numerous support opportunities, including the 2011 JOBS Initiative. The MPTV main switchboard is open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Viewer Services can be reached at 414-297-7520,, and at Twitter and Facebook. Feedback is always welcomed.