In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Christopher Edley, Jr., will speak at Strong Auditorium on Friday. The agenda of his speech is “The New Civil Rights Agenda.” Edley has recently been appointed dean of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law-Boalt Hall. He is the first African-American dean to lead a top-ranked U.S. law school. Edley is a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, a post which garnered him experience in shaping national policies. During the Carter Administration he was assistant director of the White House domestic policy staff, giving him power to affect welfare reform, Social Security, and anti-poverty measures. It was Edley’s work with the Clinton administration that led him to write his book “Not All Black & White: Affirmative Action, Race and American Values.” He was special counsel to President Clinton and Director of the White House Review for Affirmative Action. He was credited as being the engineer of Clinton’s “Mend it, don’t end it” policy on affirmative action. From 1997 to 1999 Edley served in a consulting manner as Senior Adviser to the President for the Race Initiative and he is currently working on a book critiquing the Clinton Administration’s record on racial justice, examining the potential for the racial justice movement in a multiracial society. This Friday Edley will deliver the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Address. In past speeches Edley has concentrated on affirmative action, a topic which has become hotly debated in recent times with the passing of Proposition 209 in California, elimnatory affirmative action programs, and the December 2003 ruling by the Supreme Court that race can be a factor for universities shaping their admissions programs. If you want to hear an inspirational speech by a great civil rights activist then come to Strong Auditorium on Friday, January 23rd, at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.Goldner can be reached at email@example.com.
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