AUSTIN, TX, April 1, 2019 – Civil rights legends and leaders, community activists, the Houston Police Chief, musicians, and comedians will speak out April 8-10 at the LBJ Foundation's “The Summit on Race in America,” to explore our nation's continuing racial divide and struggle for racial equality. The three-day summit will be held at the LBJ Presidential Library, on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin.
Presenters include Andrew Young, Dolores Huerta, Bryan Stevenson, Madeleine Albright, Black Lives Matter activists, the Houston Police Chief, and many other national leaders. Joining them on stage will be an unlikely crew—some of the funniest comedians in the country. Why? Our complicated views on race are shaped today as much by the New York Times and cable news as they are by comedians and musicians and other pop-culture truth tellers.
“Ever since Richard Pryor began using his comedic gifts to break down barriers, comedy has played an integral role in our understanding of race,” said Mark K. Updegrove, LBJ Foundation president and CEO. “While no one event could ever do justice to such a complex and personal topic as race, the hope is that—through open discussions and maybe even a few laughs—we can achieve greater understanding and perhaps even unity in these divided times.”
Some of Motown's biggest stars also will join the Summit, revealing how Motown forever changed American music and perceptions of African-Americans. Their appearance coincides with the GRAMMY Museum's new exhibit, “Motown: The Sound of Young America,” opening exclusively at the LBJ Presidential Library on Saturday, April 13.
Major participants at the Summit include Andrew Young, former UN Ambassador and civil rights legend; Dolores Huerta, founder and president, Dolores Huerta Foundation; Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State; Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative; Vernon Jordan, civil rights activist and business executive; DeRay Mckesson, co-founder of Campaign Zero and Black Lives Matter activist; Brittany Packnett, co-host of “Pod Save the People” and co-founder of Campaign Zero; Valerie Jarrett, advisor to President Obama and author of “Finding My Voice;” Art Acevedo, Houston Police Chief; Yamiche Alcindor, White House Correspondent for PBS NewsHour; comedians George Lopez, Sasheer Zamata, Dulcé Sloan, and Aparna Nancherla; musicians Wyclef Jean and Jimmy Jam, and Motown legends Duke Fakir, founding member of The Four Tops; Claudette Robinson, member of The Miracles; and Mary Wilson, founding member of The Supremes.
Through conversations, performances, film clips, and presentations, the Summit will take on several of the issues of our time—including voting rights, immigration, movement building, economic empowerment, and the portrayal of race through the media. In celebration of the 60th anniversary of Motown Records, the Summit will conclude with a preview of the Library's exhibit, “Motown: The Sound of Young America.” This is the first time many of the exhibition’s artifacts have been seen in a museum setting.
LBJ Presidential Library
The LBJ Presidential Library, located on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin, is one of 14 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. Dedicated in May 1971, it is the nation's fifth presidential library. Its mission is to preserve and protect the historical materials in its collections and make them readily accessible; to increase public awareness of the American experience through relevant exhibitions and educational programs; and to advance the LBJ Library's standing as a center for intellectual activity and community leadership while meeting the challenges of a changing world. www.lbjlibrary.org
The LBJ Foundation is a non-profit organization that was created by President and Mrs. Johnson to support the LBJ Presidential Library and the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. Through the fundraising efforts of its Board of Trustees, the Foundation provides support to the Library that enhances quality programming, expands educational outreach and exhibits, and administers grants for researchers and scholars. The Foundation supports the LBJ School in the outstanding education that it provides its graduate students in public policy and governmental affairs, community outreach, and the exploration of global initiatives. One looks to the past and the other to the future, providing an ongoing legacy for President Johnson’s accomplishments and his vision for our nation. www.lbjfoundation.org.
Jim Popkin, Seven Oaks Media Group
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Anne Wheeler, LBJ Presidential Library
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