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Mary Frances Berry to keynote 25th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Public Affairs Lecture Feb. 13
Mary Frances Berry to keynote 25th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Public Affairs Lecture Feb. 13February 06, 2008Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
Mary Frances Berry, former chairperson of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, will be the featured speaker for the Syracuse University Department of African American Studies’ 25th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Public Affairs Lecture on Wednesday, Feb. 13. Her lecture, “The State of the Union: A Civil Rights Perspective,” is at 7 p.m. in Maxwell Auditorium and is free and open to the public; free parking for this event is available in Irving Garage.
Preceding her lecture, Berry will participate in an open classroom conversation for students at 4 p.m. in Room 219 of Sims Hall.
“Dr. Berry’s position as chair of the Civil Rights Commission during the Reagan administration showed her to be an individual of enormous personal strength,” says Bill Cole, co-chair of the African American Studies Colloquium Series Committee. “It is a great honor for our department and the entire University to have her here.”
For more than four decades, Berry has been one of the most recognized and respected voices in national conversations on civil rights, gender equality and social justice. Fighting for fairness and justice under four presidential administrations, she led the way as chair of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission for many years. Berry also served as assistant secretary for education in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. One of the founders of the Free South Africa Movement, she was the first woman of any race to head a major research university, the University of Colorado at Boulder. Lauded by many honorary degrees and awards, including being named one of “America’s Women of the Century” by the National Women’s Hall of Fame, Berry is never one to rest on her laurels. Her vision of social freedom and equality, her wisdom and candor, assure her place in the future agenda of America.
Berry now teaches history and law at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is the Professor of American Social Thought. Her most recent book, “My Face Is Black Is True: Callie House and the Struggle for Ex-Slave Reparations” (Vintage, 2006), follows in the footsteps of her numerous other ground breaking books.
The 25th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Public Affairs Lecture is co-sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor, Imagining America, the Women’s Studies Program, the Department of Political Science and The College of Arts and Sciences’ iLEARN program.