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Release Date: Friday, May 24, 2013 4:00 PM
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Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair Lecture to Address Ballot Access

Civil Rights Attorney Elaine R. Jones to Lead 2012-13 Lecture Series; Noted Civil Rights Attorney Barbara Arnwine to Join for Kick-Off Lecture

WASHINGTON (October 19, 2012) – This fall, attorneys from two prominent civil rights organizations will lead the Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair lecture series. The pre-and-post election discussions will address voter suppression initiatives and the minority vote. The 2012-2013 series, titled “Civic equality in the 21st Century: the Political Process, Education, Economic Power, and Individual Rights,” will kick off at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24. in the School of Business auditorium.

Former President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Elaine R. Jones will facilitate the King lecture series for this academic year. Barbara R. Arnwine, president and executive director for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, will join Jones for the first presentation titled “State Restrictions on the Right to Vote and the Struggles to Ensure an Inclusive Electorate.” Arnwine will return for a post-election, follow-up discussion on Nov. 14.

The spring seminars will address the prison system, education, individual rights and coalition building.

Elaine R. Jones
Elaine R. Jones

Established in 2008 with the King’s $1 million donation to the University, the chair is intended to encourage highly accomplished individuals to come to Howard to share their experiences with current students. The Kings, who are both Howard alumni, inaugurated the chair to reflect their years in public service and the media.

Jones is the fourth president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) Since its founding in 1940 by Thurgood Marshall, LDF has been fighting for equal rights and justice for people of color, women and the poor. When Jones took the helm of the organization in 1993, becoming the first woman to head LDF. Howard University is her alma mater and in recognition of her achievements awarded her an honorary Doctorate of Law in 1996. She is also the first African-American woman graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law. Her more than four decades as a lawyer have been spent in coalition with others advocating the economic, educational, social justice and political interests of African-Americans. She also played an influential role in increasing the number of African-American federal judges nationwide.

Barbara R. Arnwine
Barbara R. Arnwine

Barbara R. Arnwine, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law since 1989, is internationally renowned for civil, human and women’s rights. She continues to champion civil rights issues nationally and internationally in the areas of housing, fair lending, community development, employment, voting, education and environmental justice. In addition, she is also engaged in critical matters such immigrant rights, judicial diversity and sentencing and health care disparities. Arnwine’s awards include the National Bar Association’s Gertrude E. Rush Award in 2011 and the Washington D.C. Freedom’s Sisters Award in 2009. In 2011, she received the prestigious Gruber International Justice Prize and in 2008 she was selected as a Rockwood Institute Leadership Fellow.

Richard Parsons, former chairman of Citigroup and former chairman and chief executive of Time Warner, previously served as chair of the King lecture series. Past guest speakers include Kenneth Chenault, chairman and chief executive of American Express, Ursula Burns, chairwoman and chief executive of Xerox, and Vernon Jordan, Jr., a senior managing director of Lazard Frères & Co. LLC and a member of Howard’s Board of Trustees.

About Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King

Gwendolyn Stewart King, who graduated in 1962 with degrees in French and education, went on to a distinguished career including serving as commissioner of the Social Security Administration and as director of Monsanto Company, Marsh & McLennan Companies and Lockheed Martin Corporation, whose charitable awards program made the gift to Howard possible. Meanwhile, Mr. Colbert King, who graduated in 1961 with a bachelor’s in government, has had a similarly distinguished career, including 16 years at The Washington Post. In 2003, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for what the committee called his “against the grain columns that speak to people in power with ferocity and wisdom.”


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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