Meacham and Gilliam on the ‘marquee’


Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “American Lion” and “Franklin and Winston” as well as the former editor of Newsweek magazine, Jon Meacham will headline the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration special voting rights conference at the University of Kentucky on Tuesday, October 13, 2015.

     On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The landmark federal legislation, enacted at the height of the civil rights movement, prohibited racial discrimination in voting.

     Meacham will present the first annual Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Lecture, honoring the late U.S. Senator and Kentucky Governor whereas his address is expected to focus on current and future developments in voting rights and elections. A longtime advocate for the Martin School, Wendell H. Ford was the principal sponsor of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, sometimes called the “motor voter act.”

The conference, “The Foundation of a Democracy: Voting Rights, Past, Present and Future”, will also feature Dorothy Butler Gilliam as keynote speaker for the afternoon session. In 1961 Gilliam became the first female African-American reporter and later columnist at the Washington Post. In her journalist career, she covered numerous developments during the civil rights movement and will talk on a historical perspective on voting rights.

     “This promises to be a compelling and fascinating day on our campus,” said Merl Hackbart, interim director of the Martin School and a longtime professor at UK. “The theme of voting rights in the U.S. is in the news almost every day. The discussion and examination of this subject is very timely, especially with 2016 being a Presidential election year.”

     Other confirmed participants at this time, who will join Jon Meacham, who is also the author of “Thomas Jefferson: the Art of Power,” which was named by the New York Times as one of the best 2012 books of the year at the conference include:

     David Becker, Director of Election Initiatives, the Pew Charitable Trusts; Hon. Pedro A. Cortés, Secretary of State, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Ari Berman, author of the forthcoming book, “Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America,” and contributing writer for The Nation magazine; representatives of the litigants in the pending North Carolina voting rights case (North Carolina NAACP v. McCrory); Hon. Jennifer B. Coffman, U.S. District Judge (retired); Hon. Crit Luallen, Kentucky Lieutenant Governor; and Josh Douglas, the Robert G. Lawson and William H. Fortune Associate Professor, University of Kentucky College of Law.

     For continued coverage, contact Carl Nathe, or call 859.257.3200.

Published by on August 2015. Filed under Art-to-Art Palette NewsWire/AAPNW, Bugle Section, Educator's Row, People and Places. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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