On February 19, 2019, The Thurgood Marshall Institute (Institute) at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) hosted its third and final series of events commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the 14th Amendment in Atlanta, Georgia.

The day began with an afternoon panel in partnership with Emory University School of Law entitled, “The Future of the 14th Amendment: Safeguarding its Legacy and Expanding its Reach” featuring an esteemed panel of scholars:

  • Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
  • Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Emory University
  • Robert Chang, Professor of Law and founding Executive Director of the Fred. T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at Seattle University School of Law
  • Fred Smith, Associate Professor at Emory University School of Law
  • Vesla Weaver, Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor of Political Science and Sociology at Johns Hopkins University

The conversation focused on the resiliency of the 14th Amendment to present-day attacks and ways that its interpretation can be further expanded to safeguard civil rights.

Later that evening, the Institute hosted a conversation in partnership with Spelman College entitled, “A 21st Century Vision of Justice and Equality: The 14th Amendment at 150.” This final event featured Sherrilyn Ifill and Melissa Harris-Perry, Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University, founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center, Editor-at-Large, ELLE.com, and Author of Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America.

These two leading voices on race focused on the future of the 14th Amendment, what justice requires moving forward, and the necessity for all citizens, especially the next generation, to use their voices to advance civil rights in this country. It is our goal that the 14th Amendment will become a fixture in the public discourse similar to the 1st and 2nd Amendments.

Special thanks to Emory University School of Law and Spelman College for their partnership on these events.  We’d also like to extend a special thanks to our generous sponsors, Diageo, Intel, and White & Case LLP for their support in making this event possible.