Faulkner Law to Host Fred Gray Civil Rights Symposium

Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law will host its Tenth Annual Fred Gray Civil Rights Symposium on January 30, 2015, from 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The Symposium, named in honor of civil rights icon Dr. Fred Gray, Sr., will explore the role that law and lawyers played in the Civil Rights movement.

This year’s Symposium marks the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery March and the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.  Dr. Gray will open the event and speak on the subject, The Role the Law and Lawyers for the Plaintiffs Played in “Selma”. On March 8, 1965, one day after Bloody Sunday, Gray filed in the local federal court the case of Hosea Williams, et al v. the Honorable George C. Wallace, et al.  He will also discuss the importance of that case.  This will be Attorney Gray’s first public comment on the movie “Selma” since its release.

After Dr. Gray’s remarks, Chief Judge Keith Watkins and Judge Myron Thomson, both active judges on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, will share their reflections regarding the events of 1965. In a lecture entitled “Fifty Miles Apart” the federal judges will discuss their personal experiences with our civil rights history.

Also presenting are University of Oklahoma Professor of Political Science, Keith Gaddie, and Janai Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

The annual civil rights symposium is organized and hosted by the Ernestine S. Sapp Chapter of the Black Law Students Association at Jones School of Law. Ms. Sapp, a graduate of Jones Law School and one of Dr. Gray’s partners, was the first African American graduate of Jones Law School admitted to the Alabama State Bar. Dr. Gray is well known for his representation of Rosa Parks during her criminal trial for refusing to relinquish her seat to white bus passengers. He also represented Dr. Martin Luther King and argued before the United States Supreme Court in several landmark civil rights cases. Dr. Gray has been, and continues to be, instrumental in the fight against racial discrimination and in the fight for equal rights and equal treatment for minorities under the law.

For more information, or to register for the Symposium, visit www.faulkner.edu/fred-gray, or contact Rachel Miller, Faulkner Law’s assistant director of external relations, at rmiller@faulkner.edu or 334.386.7495. The Symposium has been approved by the Alabama State Bar for 3.5 hours of CLE.

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