Tufts' Center for the Study of Race and Democracy Convenes Second Annual National Dialogue on Race Day September 15

Discussion will focus on race relations on 50th anniversary of Civil Rights Act
September 12, 2014

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Patrick Collins

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. –Tufts University's Center for the Study of Race and Democracy will draw on the widely reported shooting of unarmed African American teen Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Mo., as a prism to view racial progress on the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act at a forum to be held on Sept. 15 at 8 PM.

The incident, say organizers of the CSRD's second National Dialogue on Race Day, underscores issues of racial discrimination in America, including disproportionate incarceration of African Americans, police brutality and rampant unemployment, half a century after landmark civil rights legislation. The CSRD has entitled this year's program "The Civil Rights Act: 50 Years Ago, 50 Years Later, 50 Years from Now."

Peniel Joseph, founding director of the CSRD and professor of history in the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, says, "Contrary to popular opinion, the civil rights movement and the Civil Rights Act did not defeat Jim Crow. They merely ushered us into a new, arguably more pernicious phase, where transcendent black achievement co-exists alongside staggering black disadvantage."

Joseph, a frequent national commentator on issues of race and civil rights, will moderate the panel discussion. He has appeared on PBS News Hour, CNN, and MSNBC, and has also authored such books as "Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama"(2010) and "‘Stokely: A Life’" (2014).

Joining Joseph will be:

•           Michael Curry, president of the NAACP Boston

•           Barb Dougan, the Massachusetts Project Director of Families Against Mandatory Minimums

•           Kim McLarin, novelist and professor of writing, Emerson College

•           Lionel McPherson, associate professor of ethics, political and social philosophy  at Tufts University

•           Alan D. Solomont, dean of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts

•           Paul Watanabe, author and director of the Institute for Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Boston

The panel discussion will be followed by audience questions.

The forum will be held in the ASEAN auditorium of the Cabot Intercultural Center on Tufts' Medford/Somerville campus. For directions, go to: http://campusmaps.tufts.edu/medford/.

For more information, contact the CSRD's staff assistant, Theresa Sullivan, at Theresa.Sullivan@tufts.edu or go to the website at http://as.tufts.edu/csrd/about.

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Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in  the undergraduate, graduate,and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.