Civil rights legend to offer keynote in SMU symposium Sept. 6, 2013

Rev. James L. Lawson

Rev. James L. Lawson will give the keynote speech in a civil rights symposium at SMU Sept. 6, 2013.

On the heels of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, renowned civil rights and social justice leaders and scholars will be at SMU to discuss the future.

“The End of Civil Rights in America? Reflections on the Future of Economic Justice from the Perspectives of Law and Religion” takes place 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, in Karcher Auditorium, Storey Hall, in the SMU Law Quad.

Sponsored by SMU’s Perkins School of Theology and Dedman School of Law, the daylong symposium will focus on efforts to overcome economic injustices tied to racial inequality, and examine what work still needs to be done.

The keynote speaker will be Rev. James Lawson, a legendary civil rights activist who worked closely with King and was influential in shaping the movement’s nonviolent resistance strategy.

Symposium speakers and their presentations (with question-and-answer time) include:

  • Willie Baptist, Union Theological Seminary Poverty Initiative scholar-in-residence in New York City: “Reigniting Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign Today: From Civil Rights to Human Rights”
  • Jim Harrington, Austin attorney, founder-director of Texas Civil Rights Project and adjunct University of Texas School of Law instructor: “Private Actions to Enforce Civil Rights Laws”
  • John Martin, Dallas attorney: “Government Enforcement of Voting Rights Laws”
  • Evelyn L. Parker, SMU Perkins School of Theology associate dean for academic affairs and professor of practical theology: “Young Women and the Struggle for Economic Justice: A Litany of Issues”
  • Joerg Rieger, Perkins School of Theology Wendland-Cook Professor of Constructive Theology: “Why Both Race and Class Matter in Religion: Taking the Long View”
  • Eliot Shavin, attorney and SMU Dedman School of Law lecturer: “Wealth As a Suspect Classification and The Economic Bill of Rights”
  • Theodore Walker, Jr., SMU Perkins School of Theology associate professor of ethics and society: “Beyond Civil Rights to Economic Rights: Prescriptions from the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

The event is open to the public; admission is free for SMU students, staff and faculty. Registration is required and seating is limited. To register, contact Lisa Montes and include a name, e-mail address and phone number.

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