Presidents Carter and Clinton to Keynote LBJ Presidential Library Civil Rights Summit on UT Campus

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Feb. 17, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas — The LBJ Presidential Library, located on The University of Texas at Austin campus, will host a Civil Rights Summit on April 8-10 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. President Lyndon Baines Johnson drove passage of the legislation and signed it into law. 

The summit will feature keynote addresses from former President Jimmy Carter on April 8 and former President Bill Clinton on April 9. An invitation has been extended to former President George W. Bush to deliver a keynote address on April 10, and the library is working with his office to finalize details.

The Civil Rights Summit is this year’s cornerstone event of a multiyear anniversary celebration of Johnson’s prodigious legislative legacy by the LBJ Presidential Library, the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, and the LBJ Foundation.

“President Johnson’s legislative achievements underscore for our students how society can be transformed by the efforts of those committed to a life of leadership in public service,” said Robert Hutchings, dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs. “Now, with the Civil Rights Summit, we will have an opportunity to hear from some of today’s most prominent and distinguished leaders as our students prepare themselves to be the next ‘get it done’ generation.”

“Fifty years ago, President Johnson’s vision for a more just and honorable America contributed to the passing of the Civil Rights Act, the most transformational civil rights legislation since Reconstruction and a crucial step in the realization of America’s promise,” said Mark K. Updegrove, director of the LBJ Presidential Library. “But his vision went far beyond ending racial discrimination. He believed that education, economic opportunity, health care, clean air and water, and access to the arts and humanities, among other things, were inherent civil rights for all Americans — and it’s reflected in his legislative legacy.”

Participants in the summit will include current and former UT Austin presidents Bill Powers and Larry Faulkner and faculty members Michael J. Cramer and Shirley Franklin.

They will also include prominent representatives of the Johnson administration and family, the American media, current and former elected officials, and members of academia:

Julian Bond
        Former Chairman, NAACP

Taylor Branch
        Pulitzer Prize-winning author

Jim Brown
        Former NFL running back

Tina Brown
        Journalist, Tina Brown Live Media

Joseph A. Califano Jr.
        Chair, National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse; Head of Domestic Policy for President Johnson

The Honorable Julián Castro
        Mayor of San Antonio, Texas

Michael J. Cramer
        Director, UT Program in Sports and Media

Dr. Harry Edwards
        Sociologist, focusing on African American athletes

Dr. Larry Faulkner
        Former President, The University of Texas at Austin

David Ferriero
        Archivist of the United States

The Honorable Shirley Franklin
        Former Mayor of Atlanta; Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor of Ethics and Political Values, LBJ School

Luci Baines Johnson
        Daughter of Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson

Tom Johnson
        Former President, CNN; former Deputy Press Secretary to President Johnson

Congressman John Lewis
        U.S. Representative, Georgia

Joe Morgan
        Former Major League Baseball second baseman

Diane Nash
        Helped found Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

Bill Powers
        President, The University of Texas at Austin

Todd Purdum
        Author, “An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964”; national editor of Vanity Fair

Lynda Johnson Robb
        Daughter of Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson

Bill Russell
        Former NBA center

Bob Santelli
        Director, The GRAMMY Museum

The Honorable Margaret Spellings
        Former U.S. Secretary of Education; President, George W. Bush Presidential Center

Mavis Staples
        Singer, civil rights activist

The Honorable Antonio Villaraigosa
        Former Mayor of Los Angeles

The Honorable Andrew Young
        Former U.N. Ambassador and former Mayor of Atlanta

Information on the summit may be found at www.civilrightssummit.org.

AV Media Kit may be found at www.civilrightssummit.org/media.

“Cornerstones of Civil Rights” Exhibit:

During the summit and throughout the month of April, the “Cornerstones of Civil Rights” exhibit will be on display at the LBJ Presidential Library, linking the civil rights legacies of Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson. It features a lithograph copy of Abraham Lincoln’s final draft of the Emancipation Proclamation; the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery, signed by President Lincoln; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965, signed by President Johnson; and an annotated copy of Johnson’s “We Shall Overcome” speech to Congress asking for passage of the Voting Rights Act. It also includes a signature “stovepipe” hat worn by Lincoln and a Resistol beaver cowboy hat worn by Johnson.

Civil Rights Film Series: 

Hosted by Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker, UT Radio-Television-Film department head and LBJ School professor Paul Stekler, the LBJ School of Public Affairs will present a series of documentaries and speeches that chronicle the civil rights era and the pivotal role played by Johnson in the passing of the Civil Rights Act, on April 2, 3, and 7.

LBJ School 50th Commemoration Activities:

Throughout the next 18 months, the LBJ School will examine how far America has come in meeting the challenges of achieving equality and equity for all Americans. The school will sponsor 50 events for the 50th anniversary, all culminating in a call for a renewed effort to “get things done” in order to improve the lives of all citizens. The “50 for 50” spotlight event for February will feature leading civil rights attorney, activist, scholar and the first African American female tenured professor at Harvard Law School, Lani Guinier, on Feb. 19.

For more information, contact: University Communications, Office of the President, 512 471 2312; Anne Wheeler, awheeler@lbjfoundation.org, Office: 512-721-0216, Cell: 512-731-2351; Susan Binford, susan.binford@austin.utexas.edu, Office: 512 232 4006, Cell: 512-415-4820.

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