Castro, Ifill Talk Race and Rights at the Penn MLK Lecture in Social Justice

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto | jdisanto@upenn.edu | 215-898-4820January 14, 2014

Julián Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, and Sherrilyn Ifill, the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, will speak at the 13th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture in Social Justice, Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The event will be at the Zellerbach Theatre in the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, 3680 Walnut St.

The event is a part of Penn’s 19th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium for Social Change. It is free and open to the public.

Moderated by Anthea Butler, an associate professor in the departments of Religious Studies and of Africana Studies, Ifill and Castro will discuss race, immigration, voting rights and African-American and Latino civil rights.

Castro is the youngest mayor of a Top 50 American city and was the first Latino to deliver the keynote address at a Democratic National Convention, in 2012.

Castro initiated the “Decade of Downtown” and a series of incentives to encourage inner city investment. He also established Café College, a center offering guidance on college admissions, financial aid and standardized test preparation to any student.

Among Ifill’s successful litigation is the landmark Voting Rights Act case Houston Lawyers’ Association vs. Attorney General of Texas, in which the Supreme Court held that judicial elections are covered by the Voting Rights Act. She also serves as a law professor at the University of Maryland, where she created one of the first legal clinics focused on removing barriers to formerly incarcerated persons seeking to re-enter society.

The MLK Lecture in Social Justice is sponsored by Penn’s Center for Africana Studies, Office of the President and Annenberg School for Communication.

Other key events during the MLK Symposium include the Interfaith Program and Awards Commemoration with guest speaker Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, senior pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston and a Penn alumnus; “Jazz for King,” an evening of jazz music and poetry readings; and “Performance Art for Social Change,” featuring PLP The Unity.

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