Commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day, The Dallas Institute will present the Six Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium at 7 p.m. on Monday at the Winspear. This year’s program should be especially interesting. With the theme “Just and Unjust Laws: the Core of the Civil Rights Struggle,” the keynote speakers will include CNN senior analyst Jeffrey Toobin and the legendary attorney Fred Gray (pictured).
For those who skipped history class on the wrong day, Fred Gray was the attorney who in 1955 represented Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Alabama, when she refused to give up her seat on a bus for white man. This action resulted the maelstrom known as the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Mrs. Parks act of defiance was a shot heard around the world. Separation of the races in everyday situations was too often the accepted practice. The struggle for social equality was difficult and costly. Mr. Gray is not only one of the few surviving participants in the effort, but also was Dr. King’s first civil right lawyer. His stories and views of history should be simply remarkable.
As for Jeffrey (pictured) , he is known as the legal brain of the CNN newsroom and with good reason. Not only does he know Supreme Court judges from his days at the Harvard Law School, he has written numerous books including The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court and A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal that Nearly Brought Down a President.
“Fred Gray’s fame for the major role he played in the civil rights movement has spanned 50 years. To have him speak at this symposium is an incredible honor for us,” said Dr. Larry Allums, Executive Director of The Dallas Institute. “By partnering him with Jeffrey Toobin, one of the country’s most respected legal analysts, the event promises to be humbling, enthralling and thought-provoking. I really believe this has the potential to be our best symposium yet.”
- Corporate sponsors — ALON USA (Presenting Sponsor), Baylor Health Care System, On-Target Supplies & Logistics, AT&T and Oncor.
- Foundation Sponsor — Humanities Texas
- Individual sponsors — Mr. and Mrs. Albert C. Black Jr., Mr. and Mrs. John R. Castle Jr., Mr. and Mrs. J. McDonald Williams and Dr. Nancy Cain Marcus.
The program is also supported by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs.
Community partners include: Central Dallas Ministries, E.K. Bailey Ministries Inc., J.L.Turner Legal Association and the African American Museum.
Members of the MLK Advisory Council for The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture include: Rafael M. Anchia, Representative, Texas House District 103; Albert C. Black, Jr., president and CEO, On-Target Supplies & Logistics; John R. Castle, Jr., attorney and community leader; Catherine Cuellar, Senior Communications Specialist, Oncor Electric Delivery; LaQuita Hall, AT&T vice president, Southwest Core Network; Shirley Ison-Newsom, director of Learning Communities, Dallas Independent School District; Veletta Forsythe Lill, executive director, Dallas Arts District; Dr. Nancy Cain Marcus, community leader and adjunct professor of humanities, University of Dallas and Southern Methodist University; Jeff Morris, president and CEO, ALON USA; and Ellen Williams, community leader.(Photos provided by The Dallas Institute.)