The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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1964 Civil Rights Act turns 50

Commemorating half a century since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, departments from across Texas A&M are pulling together their expertise to put on a symposium titled “Global Citizens and Equality: 50 Years After the 1964 Civil Rights Act.”
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbade discrimination on the basis of sex or race in hiring, promoting and firing and codified an end to social segregation.
Sahar Aziz, symposium co-chair and associate professor at the Texas A&M School of Law, said the symposium speakers will focus both on the past 50 years of American civil rights as well as the next 50.
“We hope to open up conversation about various public policy and legal issues that affect civil rights of all Americans,” Aziz said. “We will be discussing the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the various components within it, as well as how it has affected the development of our country.”
Topics of the symposium will range from education and employment to criminal justice and global citizenship today.
Wendy Moore, symposium co-chair and associate professor of sociology, said Texas A&M wanted the event to be less of the celebration it is at other universities and more of a critical reflection.
“We still see a lot of racial and gender structural inequality in society even though it’s been 50 years,” Moore said.
The symposium will consist of four separate panels, each taking on an individual civil rights-related topic in society.
Patricia J. Williams, professor of law at Columbia University, will deliver the keynote speech, which will take place halfway through the symposium. Other speakers include Joe Faegin, Phia Salter, Cedric Merlin Powell, Rogelio Sáenz, Lynne Rambo, Sharon M. Collins and others.
Moore said the symposium staff has been working to make the symposium accessible to everyone, including local high school students.
“We wanted to have a very broad and diverse audience, so we reached out to the community,” Moore said. “We have marketed it in newspapers in Houston, Fort Worth, as well as in College Station. We wanted to have lawyers from the community but we also wanted to open this up for everyone — that’s one of the reasons why we have reached out to local high schools.”
Moore said the symposium has been a collaborative effort.
“We have had such a level of participation and commitment from everyone — whether it be from the Bush School, the school of engineering, health sciences, the medical school, the College of Liberal Arts and so many others to help make this symposium happen,” Moore said.
The symposium will begin at 8 a.m. Thursday in Rudder Theatre and conclude at 5:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Registration is required prior to the event.

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