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LBJ Library to Host Civil Rights Summit

Carter and Clinton to deliver keynotes

By Michael King, Fri., Feb. 21, 2014

President Lyndon Baines Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act, July 2, 1964.
President Lyndon Baines Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act, July 2, 1964.
Photo courtesy of LBJ Library/ Photo by Cecil Stoughton

Marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – which President Lyndon Baines Johnson shepherded and signed into law – the LBJ Library will host a summit April 8-10 that "will be both a look back at the civil rights movement of the 1960s and a look forward at the civil rights issues still facing America and the world."

According to the Library's official announcement, the Summit will feature keynote addresses from former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and a keynote invitation has also been extended to former President George W. Bush. Among other prominent participants will be former NAACP chairman Julian Bond, author Taylor Branch, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, LBJ's daughters Luci Baines Johnson and Lynda Bird Johnson, and U.S. Rep. John Lewis.

"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."

The Summit is this year's cornerstone event of a multiyear anniversary celebration of President Johnson's prodigious legislative legacy. Over the next several years, the LBJ Presidential Library, the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT-Austin, and the LBJ Foundation will partner to commemorate the anniversaries of seminal laws signed by President Johnson that continue to resonate today.

"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."

For more on the Summit, visit www.civilrightssummit.org.

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