Theodore Shaw Is Featured Guest at Martin Luther King Celebration

Posted: January 28, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

Theodore M. Shaw, associate director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., (LDF) is the featured speaker during the annual Martin Luther King celebration program tomorrow. “From the Courtroom to the Classroom: Our 50-Year Quest for Educational Justice,” will be held at 1:30 p.m. in Johnson Center’s Dewberry Hall. This year’s celebration will also include an introduction to the Mason Democracy Project and presentation of the Spirit of King Award.

Shaw, a native of New York City, worked as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice before joining the LDF in 1982. He directed the LDF’s education docket and litigated school desegregation, capital punishment, and other civil rights cases in trial and appellate courts. In 1987, he helped establish a Western Regional Office of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, where he served as Western Regional Counsel. He has spoken on civil rights issues around the world and currently serves on the Advisory Board of the European Roma Rights Council, based in Budapest, Hungary.

The Anointed Voices of Unity, Mason’s own gospel choir, will begin the program with a prelude and symbolic march at 12:50 p.m. in the Johnson Center atrium. Mezzo soprano Patricia Miller, music professor, will also perform during the program.

The Spirit of King Award is presented to an individual in the George Mason University community who demonstrates a commitment to the legacy and spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Inaugurated in January 2001, past recipients include Roger Wilkins, Robinson Professor; Earl Ingram, former vice president and university equity officer; and Phyllis Slade Martin, associate director of African American Studies and director of the African American Studies Research and Resource Center.

This year will also kick off Mason’s role in the American Democracy Project, chaired by Provost Peter Stearns and Associate Provost for Educational Programs Marilyn McKenzie. The initiative seeks to create an intellectual and experiential understanding of civic engagement and produce graduates who understand and are committed to engaging in meaningful actions as citizens in a democracy. Mason will be one of 144 member campuses of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities participating in the project.

For more information about the day’s activities, contact African American Studies at 703-993-4080.

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