John A. Powell, an internationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights and civil liberties and director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley, will deliver this year's Thurgood Marshall Lecture at UCLA on Tuesday, April 1.
Powell, who also is a professor of law, African-American studies and ethnic studies at Berkeley, where holds the Robert D. Haas Chancellor's Chair in Equity and Inclusion, has written extensively on a variety of issues, including structural racism, racial justice and regionalism, concentrated poverty and urban sprawl, voting rights, affirmative action, and the needs of citizens in a democratic society.
He is the author of several books, including, most recently, "Racing to Justice: Transforming Our Conceptions of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society."
"This year's lecture marks a milestone in a speaker series that has welcomed to UCLA an unparalleled array of iconic figures in the struggle for human rights and dignity," said Darnell Hunt, director of UCLA's Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies and a professor of sociology. "It is fitting that we celebrate this year the work of John A. Powell, an internationally recognized expert on civil rights and civil liberties whose expansive body of work resonates deeply with Thurgood Marshall's contributions to social justice."
Powell's talk is part of an annual public lecture series named in honor of Marshall, the late U.S. Supreme Court justice. Founded in 1989, the series features a distinguished scholar, legal practitioner or activist who, like Marshall, has had a long and successful record of advocacy and who has made significant contributions to the struggle for civil rights.
The event, sponsored by the Bunche Center and the UCLA School of Law, will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m. at UCLA's Covel Commons Terrace, followed by Powell's lecture at 7 p.m. in Covel's Grand Horizon Ballroom (map). Powell will be available for media interviews between 5:30 and 6 p.m.
Powell is the former executive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University, where he held the Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. He also founded and directed the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota, served as director of legal services in Miami, Fla., and was the national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, where he was instrumental in developing educational adequacy theory.
Powell has lived and worked in Africa, where he was a consultant to the governments of Mozambique and South Africa, and in India. He also has done work in South America and Europe.
To attend the free event, the public should R.S.V.P. by emailing or calling 310-825-4023.
The Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, established in 1969, is ranked among the nation's top academic research centers in African American studies. The center conducts and sponsors multidisciplinary research on the African-American experience, supports the bachelor's and master's degree programs in Afro-American studies, facilitates scholarly activities for faculty and students, administers undergraduate scholarship programs for students majoring in Afro-American studies, and sponsors community service programming.