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Higher Education in Maryland

March 2009 Attorney General's Office Press Release



For immediate release: March 11, 2009                                     Media Contact (OAG): Raquel Guillory
                                                                                                             Communications: (410) 576-6357


                                                                                                             Media Contact (MHEC): Christopher Falkenhagen

                                                                                                             Communications: (410) 260-4511



Attorney General's Office, MHEC, USM and NAACP Hold Forum on the

Future of the NAACP

BALTIMORE, MD (March 11, 2009) - The Office of the Attorney General, Maryland Higher Education Commission, University System of Maryland and the Maryland State NAACP celebrated the 100th anniversary of the NAACP with a daylong symposium on the future of the NAACP at the University of Baltimore. The event, attended by NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, focused on the organization’s successes since its founding creation and the challenges it must confront in the future.

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, Secretary of Higher Education James E. Lyons, Sr., University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. “Brit” Kirwan, and Maryland State NAACP President Gerald Stansbury opened the daylong symposium with remarks noting the NAACP’s commitment to justice and equality for all citizens. The theme of the symposium, “New Definitions of Civil Rights: Bridging the Generations” featured a lunchtime keynote address by Jealous, the youngest NAACP President and CEO in the history of the organization.

Attorney General Gansler focused on the organization’s use of the law to achieve change, from the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision to the end of the Jim Crow laws in the South. The legal successes of the NAACP led to the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

“The NAACP may be known by most people for organizing marches and protests and shedding the light on civil rights injustices,” said Attorney General Gansler. “But from its very beginning, the NAACP recognized that law reform could be a powerful tool to obtain justice for all Americans. The NAACP, throughout its history, participated and many times led the effort to achieve change using the power of the law.”

“I am pleased to share Governor O’Malley’s vision of One Maryland which is consistent on the Eastern Shore to the Metropolitan-Washington area to the Metro-Western Maryland counties,” said Secretary Lyons. “We are all in fact One Maryland. As a result of the Governor’s commitment to higher education, we have seen three straight years of freezing tuition at the University System of Maryland and Morgan State which has made the college dream affordable for more students than fewer as well as the State’s independent and community colleges.”

The event featured expert panel discussions focusing on education, economic justice, environmental justice civil rights and criminal law / gangs.


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