Join us for a meaningful conversation with David Fankhauser as we explore the risk and sacrifice in confronting injustice and inequities.
David Fankhauser, a professor of biology and chemistry at the University of Cincinnati’s Clermont campus, attended Central State University (CSU) in the early 1960s. At the time, the college had a 99.4 percent black student population. The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) called upon CSU in search of student volunteers to be part of the Freedom Riders, a series of bus trips that were taken through the southern United States to protest racial segregation in the interstate bus terminals. At 19 years old, Fankhauser joined the Freedom Riders.
Raised as a Quaker, Fankhauser was very adamant about civil rights and racial integration. He engaged in planning meetings with civil rights leaders Ralph Abernathy and Martin Luther King, Jr. in Montgomery, Alabama. Fankhauser and other Freedom Riders rode a Trailway bus from Montgomery to Jackson, Mississippi. After their arrival, Fankhauser and seven other Freedom Riders were arrested for refusing to leave the waiting room of a whites-only bus station. The Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame inducted Fankhauser in 2014 for his contribution to the civil rights movement and for his involvement with the Freedom Riders.