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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Calendar Highlights: Oct. 6, 2009

The 1931 Titanic Memorial in Washington, D.C.Wendland-Cook Professorship Inaugural Lecture: SMU’s Perkins School of Theology commemorates the establishment of the Wendland-Cook Professorship in Constructive Theology with a lecture by the first faculty member to hold that position. Joerg Rieger will discuss “Speaking Truth to Power – With a Twist: Re-envisioning the Task of Theology and the Academy” at 5 p.m. Oct. 8 in the Great Hall of Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall, followed by a reception in the Kirby Hall Parlor. Free and open to the public.

“Holocaust Legacies” lecture: Author and University of Pittsburgh Professor of Art History Kirk Savage (Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape) will explore the achievements and pitfalls of the victim monument, which has come to rival the hero monuments of old. “Beyond the Victim Monument” begins at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 8 in Dallas’ Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. Co-sponsored by the Division of Art History in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, the Dallas Holocaust Museum and The Sixth Floor Museum. Free and open to the public; tickets required. For more information, call 214-768-2698; for tickets, call 214-768-2787. (Right, the Titanic Memorial on Washington, D.C.’s southwest waterfront, originally erected in 1931.)

'The Blood of Jesus' theatrical posterScreening a classic: Friends of the SMU Libraries/Colophon and the Hamon Arts Library present a free screening of Spencer Williams’ 1941 classic, The Blood of Jesus, Oct. 8 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater. Made specifically for African-American audiences in segregated movie theaters, the film was placed in the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1991. The event begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by the screening at 7 p.m. and a panel discussion moderated by SMU Professor of Cinema-TV Rick Worland at 8 p.m. Arrive early – seating is first-come, first-served and not guaranteed. For more information, call 214-768-3225 or visit

Clubhouse Lunch: The SMU Faculty Club hosts a Clubhouse Lunch with Hector Rivera, director of the Center for Child and Community Development in the University’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, at noon Oct. 14 in the Faculty Club. Rivera will speak on “Integrating English Language Learners Into Our Schools – What Do We Need to Know?” Lunch is $5; attendees are welcome to bring their own.

Calendar Highlights: Sept. 27, 2007

Meadows dance studentsWhat’s opera, doc? The Meadows Opera Theatre presents scenes and songs from opera and musical theatre in a brown bag event, “Opera Free For All,” at 1 p.m. Sept. 28 in the Taubman Atrium, Owen Arts Center.

Sounds of Spain: The Orchestra of New Spain presents a concert of Renaissance music from Valencia at 5 p.m. Sept. 30 in the Virginia Meadows Galleries, Meadows Museum. Tickets are $25 each for general admission, $20 each for Meadows Museum members.

Brown Bag Dance returns: The Meadows Division of Dance (top left) presents its fall 2007 Brown Bag Dance Series at noon each day Oct. 1-5 in the Bob Hope Theatre lobby, Owen Arts Center. Bring your lunch and watch SMU dance students perform original works in ballet, jazz and modern dance.

Sophia Loren with Stanley MarcusMore Fortnight fun: DeGolyer Library Curator Anne Peterson gives an illustrated history of “The Store” in “Fortnight, Fashion and Fun: Neiman Marcus Celebrates 100 Years in Dallas” Oct. 4 in DeGolyer Library. A reception begins at 6 p.m., with the lecture at 6:30 p.m. The DeGolyer exhibition “Merchandise for the Millions: American Trade Catalogs” opens the same day and will run through Feb. 15. (Middle left, Sophia Loren and Stanley Marcus activate a recreation of the Villa D’Este fountains during the department store’s 1975 Italian Fortnight.)

Global impact: The Perkins School of Theology presents “Religion and Empire: Politics, Faith and the Future of Globalization” Oct. 4. Ulrich Duchrow, professor of systematic theology at the University of Heidelberg, will speak on “Faith Communities and Empire: Global Hope and Western Challenge” at 7 p.m. in Perkins Chapel. SMU Professor of Systematic Theology and symposium organizer Joerg Rieger will join Duchrow and scholars from SMU, TCU, Baylor, Phillips Theological Seminary and Princeton for an academic symposium on “Religion and Empire” 4-6 p.m. in the Kirby Hall parlor. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jeorg Rieger, 8-2356.

Meadows Wind EnsembleWinds and “Fire”: The Meadows Wind Ensemble (bottom left) presents “Magneticfireflies,” featuring the title music from their new CD as well as the world premiere of composer Cindy McTee’s Finish Line for wind symphony. The show begins at 8 p.m. Oct. 5 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $7 for SMU faculty, staff and students; for more information, call 8-2787 (8-ARTS).

Outdoor Adventures: Sign up by Oct. 5 for the Beaver Bend weekend canoe trip Oct. 12-14 on the Upper Mountain Fork River, Oklahoma. Cost is $70; a pre-trip meeting is scheduled for Oct. 9. For more information, visit SMU Recreational Sports or contact David Chambers, 8-9918.