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Symposium on the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to be Held at Washington and Lee University School of Law

Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, will be the Friday luncheon keynote speaker at a symposium on the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and The Voting Rights Act of 1965: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue on Feb. 19-20 at the Millhiser Moot Court Room in the Washington and Lee School of Law.

W&L School of Law’s Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice and the Roger Mudd Center for Ethics are sponsoring the symposium. Admission is free and it is open to the public, except for the invitation-only dinner and program on Feb. 19.

“Part of the motivation for the Mudd Center’s focus on race and justice in America this year was the fact that 2014-2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act,” said Angela Smith, director of the Mudd Center for Ethics and Roger Mudd Professor of Ethics. “We wanted to do something to celebrate these historic pieces of legislation, and also to critically reflect on the civil rights and voting rights challenges that we still face in this country 50 years after these momentous legislative achievements.”

The ACLU’s National Security Project, of which Shamsi is director, is dedicated to ensuring that U.S. national security policies and practices are consistent with the Constitution, civil liberties and human rights. She has litigated cases upholding the freedoms of speech and association, and challenging targeted killing, torture, unlawful detention and post-9/11 discrimination against racial and religious minorities.

Shamsi’s work includes a focus on the intersection of national security and counterterrorism policies with international human rights and humanitarian law. She previously worked as a staff
attorney of the National Security Project and was the acting director of Human Rights
First’s Law and Security Program. She also served as senior advisor to the U.N. Special
Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions.

Shamsi appears regularly in the media and has served as a national security expert for news outlets including The New York Times and Reuters, and has appeared on ABC News, NPR and the BBC. She is the author or co-author of publications on targeted killing, torture and extraordinary rendition, and has monitored and reported on the military commissions at Guantánamo Bay.

She is also a lecturer-in-law at Columbia Law School, where she teaches a course in international human rights.

The symposium will bring together leading experts in the fields of law, political science, sociology, philosophy, history and others to discuss the history and current status of civil rights legislation.

There will be four panel discussions and a dinner keynote talk. The panel topics will cover 50 Years after the Voting Rights Act of 1965; Brown v. Board of Education and Affirmative Action in a Post-Racial America; Immigration Rights and Citizenship Rights as Civil Rights; and The Future of Civil Rights.

The dinner keynote talk on Feb. 19 will be delivered by Guy-Uriel Charles, associate dean of Duke University Law School and founding director of the Duke Law Center on Law, Race and Politics.

Feb. 19 Panel Discussion:

4:15 p.m.: “50 Years after the Voting Rights Act of 1965”
Moderator: Mark Rush, Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Professor of Politics and Law, Williams School, W&L


  • Margaret Hu, assistant professor of law, W&L School of Law
  • Luis Fuentes-Rohwer, associate professor of law, Maurer School of Law-Indiana University Bloomington
  • Dianne Pinderhughes, professor of Africana studies and political science and faculty fellow at the Kellogg Institute, University of Notre Dame
  • Josh Sellers, political science fellow, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University
  • Guy-Uriel Charles, senior associate dean, Duke Law School; founding director, Duke Law Center on Law, Race and Politics
  • Justin Weinstein-Tull, Thomas C. Grey Fellow, Stanford Law School

Feb. 20 panel discussions:

8:45–10:15 a.m.: “Brown v. Board of Education and Affirmative Action in a ‘Post Racial’ America”
Moderator: Ann Massie, professor emeritus, W&L School of Law


  • Lawrence Blum, Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Education and professor of philosophy, University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • Sheryll Cashin, professor of law, Georgetown Law
  • Ted DeLaney, chair and associate professor of history, W&L
  • Lia Epperson, professor of law and associate dean for faculty and academic affairs, Washington College of Law, American University
  • Paul Finkelman, senior fellow, Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship and Constitutionalism, University of Pennsylvania; Scholar-in-Residence, National Constitution Center; President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy and senior fellow, Government Law Center, Albany Law School

10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.: “Immigration Rights and Citizenship Rights as Civil Rights”
Moderator: Noah Pickus, director, Kenan Institute for Ethics; associate research professor of policy studies, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University


  • David Baluarte, assistant clinical professor of law, director of Immigrant Rights Clinic, W&L School of Law
  • Elizabeth Cohen, associate professor of political science, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University
  • Hiroshi Motomura, Susan Westerberg Prager Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
  • Dan Tichenor, Philip H. Knight Professor of Social Science and senior faculty fellow, Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, University of Oregon
  • Juliet Stumpf, professor of law, Lewis and Clark Law School

2:15–3:45 p.m.: “The Future of Civil Rights”
Moderator: Suzanne Shanahan, associate director, Kenan Institute for Ethics, associate research professor in sociology, Duke University


  • Al Brophy, Judge John J. Parker Distinguished Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law
  • Trina Jones, professor of law, Duke Law School
  • Richard Myers, Henry Brandis Distinguished Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law
  • Robin Fretwell Wilson, Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law and director, Program in Family Law and Policy, University of Illinois College of Law
  • Suzette Malveaux, professor of law, Columbus School of Law, Catholic University