Civil Rights Leaders, Activists, Musicians, and Comedians Join "The Summit on Race in America"

NEW: Motown Greats Also Gather in Austin for Candid Conversations on Race

AUSTIN, TX, March 25, 2019 – Civil rights leaders, activists, musicians, and comedians will speak out next month at the LBJ Foundation's The Summit on Race in America, a timely event held April 8-10, 2019, 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.

“In bringing together activists and thought leaders on race—along with recording artists and comedians—we hope The Summit on Race in America will foster a deeper understanding of the challenges our country faces on this pressing issue," said LBJ Foundation president and CEO Mark K. Updegrove. "No one event could ever do justice to such a complex and personal topic as race, but it is only through open discussions with different voices that we can hope to achieve greater unity in such divided times."

In addition, some of Motown's biggest stars from "Hitsville, USA" will join the Summit, revealing how Motown forever changed American music—and perceptions of African-Americans. In conjunction with the GRAMMY Museum's new exhibition, Motown: The Sound of Young America, opening at the LBJ Presidential Library, the Motown legends joining The Summit on Race in America include:

  • Duke Fakir, Founding Member of The Four Tops
  • Claudette Robinson, Member of The Miracles
  • Mary Wilson, Founding Member of The Supremes

Other 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; Brittany Packnett, co-host of "Pod Save the People" and Teach for America's Vice President of National Community Alliances; Valerie Jarrett, the longest-serving advisor to President Obama and author of "Finding My Voice;" comedians Sasheer Zamata, Dulcé Sloan, and Aparna Nancherla; musicians Wyclef Jean and Jimmy Jam, and many others to be announced.

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 exhibition, Motown: The Sound of Young America, which opens to the public on Saturday, April 13. This is the first time many of the exhibition's artifacts have been seen in in a museum setting.

Attendance to the Summit is free and open to the public, and tickets to each day will be made available beginning March 25. For more information, please visit

LBJ Presidential Library
The LBJ Presidential Library, located on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin, is one of 13 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.

LBJ Foundation
The LBJ Foundation is a nonprofit 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.

Media Contacts

Jim Popkin, Seven Oaks Media Group
C: (202) 253-7959

Anne Wheeler, LBJ Presidential Library
C: (512) 731-2351