National Civil Rights Museum And University Of Memphis To Present MLK50 Symposium

National Civil Rights Museum And University Of Memphis To Present MLK50 Symposium
The National Civil Rights Museum (NCRM) and the University of Memphis will host a two-day MLK50 Symposium that will convene scholars, historians and thought leaders from across the country to present on the state of civil and human rights issues and racial and economic equity 50 years after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Symposium will take place April 2-3, 2018, and will culminate with a commemorative ceremony on April 4, 2018, of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination at the historic Lorraine Motel.
The theme for the MLK50 Symposium is based on Dr. King’s final book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? Invited scholars, thought leaders, policy makers and practitioners will share their perspectives and research in a series of panel discussions related to the social justice platforms that Dr. King outlined.
“We intend to initiate thought-provoking dialogue that will address several of the issues that Dr. King felt were yet to be accomplished – economic equity, access to quality education and employment – with justice as a common thread and underlying principle,” said Terri Lee Freeman, NCRM president.
“Our intent is to have our panelists help us develop a blueprint for action on these issues that our community and others across the nation can begin to implement.”
Day One of the Symposium, to be hosted by the University of Memphis School of Law, will have a legal focus with panel discussions on topics covering criminal justice, voting rights, persistent poverty and 21st century activism. Featured panelists include Mark Osler, Toussaint Losier, Roy Austin, Tracey Maclin, Dayna Matthew, Debo Adegbile, Rick Hasen, Pamela Karlan, Sherrilyn Ifill, Dorothy Brown, Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Dorothy Roberts, Claude Steele, Beverly Tatum and Cornell Brooks.
The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr., 82nd Attorney General of the United States (2009-2015), Partner, Covington & Burling LLP, will be the keynote speaker for Day One at a ticketed luncheon at the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis.
“The University of Memphis is pleased to facilitate a series of critical conversations to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy,” said UofM President M. David Rudd. “The two-day MLK50 Symposium will be a tremendous learning experience, bringing together citizens from throughout Memphis and beyond to reflect on the lasting impact of Dr. King’s work while exploring meaningful solutions to modern challenges affecting freedom, equality and justice.
“We are especially excited and humbled to announce that the Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr. will serve as a featured keynote speaker at the symposium. As the nation’s first African American U.S. Attorney General, Mr. Holder is an inspirational figure who will further elevate our discussions on social justice and economic equality.”
All panel discussions on the first day of the Symposium will be held at the UofM Law School at 1 North Front Street; the luncheon and keynote speech by Mr. Holder will be at the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis. The panel discussions at the Law School are free to attend. The keynote luncheon at the Peabody is $75 per person. Registration information for both events can be found at
“We are thrilled to partner with the National Civil Rights Museum to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Peter Letsou, dean of the University of Memphis School of Law.
“We’re hopeful that this symposium will inspire the legal community – here in Memphis and around the world – to take action on the persistent injustices that Dr. King spent much of his life working to address.”
Day Two of the Symposium will be hosted by the National Civil Rights Museum and will consist of three panel discussions — Memphis 50 Years Later, Marching Forward; Poverty & Economic Equity: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow; and The Promise of Education — and a ticketed luncheon.
Michele Norris, former host of the National Public Radio evening news program All Things Considered, will moderate the discussions, and panelists will include Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Dr. Michael Honey, Dr. Charles McKinney, James Johnson, Wendi C. Thomas, Dr. John King Jr., Dorian Warren, Dr. Walter Kimbrough, Dr. Randall Robinson, Dorsey Hopson and Karen Harrell. All panel discussions for Day Two of the Symposium will be held at the University of Memphis Rose Theatre.
Taylor Branch, American author and historian best known for his award-winning trilogy of books chronicling the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and much of the history of the American Civil Rights Movement, will be the keynote speaker for the ticketed luncheon to be held at the Holiday Inn hotel located on the University of Memphis campus.
Following the Symposium, the University of Memphis School of Law and National Civil Rights Museum will publish the papers and commentary presented at the symposium in a separate volume that will be available and distributed nationally.
To view complete details about the Symposium and to purchase luncheon tickets, visit

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