MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ - In a first-person interpreter presentation by Alexandra Ford of the American Historical Theatre, Union County residents will have the opportunity to 'meet' civil rights icon Rosa Parks in a program held at the Trailside Nature and Science Center on February 13, from 7 - 8 p.m.

Parks became an icon of the civil rights movement 65 years ago in 1955, after she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a segregated public bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Parks was an active member of her local NAACP chapter, and her arrest helped spark a 381-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system. The boycott marked the first large scale demonstration against segregation in the U.S.

Ford, an actor-historian with the American Historical Theatre company, has an AAS degree in Literature, Arts, and Philosophy from Camden County College, and earned her BFA degree in Theatre Studies from Montclair State University. To research the role, Ford traveled to Montgomery and read extensively on the life of Rosa Parks and the civil rights movement.

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The event is free and is made possible by funding from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. Attendees must be adults age 18 or older or high school students. Space is limited and pre-registration is recommended through the Trailside Talks link at

The Trailside Nature and Science Center is located at 452 New Providence Road. Ample free parking is located at the site.