speakers Civil Rights conference

The Presidency and Civil Rights
Presidents' Day, February 20, 2012
12:30 PM to 5:00 PM

This half-day conference examined key civil rights milestones from FDR through LBJ and how the lessons learned from this history apply to the challenges of our time.

With special sponsorship from Bingham McCutchen LLP.             Bingham McCutchen logo


Tom Putnam and Allida Black

Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt
12:40 PM - 1:00 PM

Historian Allida Black opened the conference, examining how civil rights issues were handled in the Roosevelt administration and the Roosevelts' role in the watershed event that featured Marian Anderson singing at the Lincoln Memorial. 

Link to Video


Callie Crossley, Carol Anderson, Ernest Green, David Nichols

Truman and Eisenhower
1:10 PM - 2:20 PM

Ernest Green of the Little Rock Nine and two historians, David Nichols and Carol Anderson, discussed President Truman's decision to desegregate the Armed Forces and President Eisenhower's handling of the crisis at Little Rock High School with moderator Callie Crossley

Link to Video


Callie Crossley, Harris Wofford, Charlayne Hunter Gault, Roger Wilkins, Kenneth Mack

Kennedy and Johnson
2:35 PM - 3:45 PM

Journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault, who was the first African American to attend the University of Georgia, discussed the struggle for civil rights in the early 1960's with Harvard historian Kenneth Mack, and Roger Wilkins and Harris Wofford, who worked with and for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.

Link to Video


Tom Putnam, Ray Suarez, Charlayne Hunter Gault, Roger Wilkins, Allida Black

Civil Rights: Then and Now
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Ray Suarez, Allida Black, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, and Roger Wilkins discussed how the lessons learned from the civil rights movement 50 years ago inform the struggle for equal rights today, and examined more recent landmarks including the Equal Rights Amendment, the Americans with Disabilities Act, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", gay marriage, and immigration laws.

Link to Video