PETE CONROY joins CalCoDems on Zoom tomorrow, Thursday, April 15 at 6:30 pm. He is the co-chair of the Freedom Riders Park Board and he will bring us up to date on all that's happening with that project..
A little about the monument and a bio of Mr. Conroy below. If you did not receive a link to the Zoom meeting and would like to participate - email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you an invitation.
ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) — The old Greyhound bus depot in Anniston has opened for the first time as the Freedom Riders National Monument four years after it was established. The monument recognizes the story of activists who set out as “Freedom Riders” in 1961 to test racial integration and public accommodations on interstate bus lines. A bus was stopped by a white mob in Anniston while traveling from Atlanta to Birmingham. Attackers beat the Freedom Riders and set fire to the bus on a roadside.
W. Peter Conroy Director, Environmental Policy & Information Center Since 1997, Pete Conroy has served as the Director of Jacksonville State University's Environmental Policy and Information Center (EPIC). Trained as a biologist, Mr. Conroy moved to Alabama in 1985 to work as the curator of the Anniston Museum of Natural History.
Since then, he has received appointments from Alabama Governors Kay Ivey (R), Bob Riley (R), Don Siegelman (D), Fob James (R), Jim Folsom (D) and Guy Hunt (R). Retained by President George Bush, Pete received White House appointments by President Bill Clinton in 1999 to serve as Alternate U.S. Federal Commissioner of the Tri-State (ACT/ACF) Water Compacts. He was also selected by the Office of the Secretary of the Army to serve on an Operational Assessment Team to review safety measures relating to the destruction of chemical materials in Alabama. Conroy may be the best known for his interest in public lands, leading to the following designations.
• Little River Canyon National Preserve - Bush, 1992 • Dugger Mountain Wilderness - Clinton, 2000 • Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge - Bush, 2005 • Freedom Riders National Monument - Obama, 2017
Additionally, Pete leads a number of projects related to conservation and economic development. Examples include the establishment and operation of the Little River Canyon Center, the Talladega Mountain Center, Longleaf Studios and entertainment complex, the re-use of the former Fort McClellan, the Chief Ladiga Rail-Trail, and several Alabama-based initiatives promoting smart growth, environmental education, arts, conservation, tourism, water policy and sustainable hospitality.
Born in Pennsylvania, Pete moved to Asheville, North Carolina with his family in 1970. He later received his Bachelor's degree in biology from Furman University in South Carolina and his Master's Degree in zoology from the Univeristy of Georgia.
With his wife Roxana, daughter Haley and son Mitch, Pete lives in Jacksonville, Alabama.