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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Attorney General’s Office, USM, MHEC and NAACP Hold Forum on the Future of the NAACP

BALTIMORE, MD (March 11, 2009) - The Maryland Attorney General’s Office, Maryland Higher Education Commission, University System of Maryland and the Maryland State NAACP celebrated the 100th anniversary of the NAACP with a daylong symposium on the future of the NAACP at the University of Baltimore. The event, attended by NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, focused on the organization’s successes since its founding and the challenges it must confront in the future.

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, Secretary of Higher Education James E. Lyons, Sr., University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. “Brit” Kirwan, and Maryland State NAACP President Gerald Stansbury opened the daylong symposium with remarks noting the NAACP’s commitment to justice and equality for all citizens. The theme of the symposium, “New Definitions of Civil Rights: Bridging the Generations” featured a lunchtime keynote address by Jealous, the youngest NAACP President and CEO in the history of the organization.

Attorney General Gansler focused on the organization’s use of the law to achieve change, from the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision to the end of the Jim Crow laws in the South. The legal successes of the NAACP led to the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

“The NAACP may be known by most people for organizing marches and protests and shedding the light on civil rights injustices,” said Attorney General Gansler. “But from its very beginning, the NAACP recognized that law reform could be a powerful tool to obtain justice for all Americans. The NAACP, throughout its history, participated and many times led the effort to achieve change using the power of the law.”

The event featured expert panel discussions focusing on education, economic justice, environmental justice civil rights and criminal law / gangs.


   

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