UMC Links

Did Dr. King Die in Vain?

April 1, 2008 — April 4 marks the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s death.  To commemorate his impact on life in America now and in the future, the University of Utah law school is bringing together a diverse group of authorities to examine provocative questions about race, education, housing and security in light of current American legal issues.  The program will feature Julian Bond, National Chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); Avery Friedman, civil rights attorney and CNN National Correspondent; and Col. Morris Davis, the former chief military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The event is free and open to the public and will be held at the Downtown Marriott Hotel, 75 S. West Temple in Salt Lake City.

“Dr. King had an enormous influence on American society,” said Amos Guoira, professor of law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law and an organizer of the commemoration.  “This event allows us to reflect on Dr. King’s contributions, and also upon the immense challenges we face in the 21st century, different but no less daunting than those Dr. King and other civil rights champions faced in the 1960s.”

Sponsors of the event include the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, the Office of the President of the University of Utah, the University Office of Diversity, the Utah Minority Bar Association, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Salt Lake Branch.   Attendance, including the cost of lunch, is free, compliments of the S.J. Quinney College of Law, although donations are encouraged to support scholarship funds.  Advance registration is requested at, or by calling 801-585-3440.

The day’s planned events include:

8:30     Welcome / Introduction of Julian Bond
               U of U President Michael K. Young

9:00     Setting the Stage: Reflections on the Civil Rights Era

10:00   Table Discussion

10:20   Break

10:30   Race and Education
               Dr. Octavio Villalpando, U of U Office of Diversity (moderator)
               Dr. Walter Allen, UCLA 
               Dr. Gary Orfield, UCLA

11:30   Table Discussion (Lunch service begins)

11:50   Break

12:00   Lunch with Speaker
               Avery Friedman on Housing

1:00     Table Discussion

1:20     Break

1:30     Security and Civil Rights: Can We Have Both?
               Professor Amos Guiora, U of U (moderator)
               Professor Louis Rene Beres, Purdue University
               Col. Morris Davis, (former lead prosecutor for terrorism trials, Guantanamo Bay)

2:30     Table Discussion

2:50     Break

3:00     Today’s Challenges and Solutions
               Johnathan M. Holifield, President, Urban League of Greater Cleveland

4:00     Local Perspective – Commentary
               Utah State Sen. Ross Romero

4:20     Closing Reflections
               Rev. France A. Davis, Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church, Salt Lake City