Following stirring remarks by President Barack Obama and Congressman John Lewis near the Edmund Pettus Bridge – site of one of the most horrific events in American history – LDF hosted a Unity reception at Brown AME Chapel in Selma, Alabama.
The discussion, moderated by Sherrilyn Ifill, introduced some of the behind the scenes players who provided the legal framework for the march to realize its completion and set forth a chain of events that resulted in the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Alabama civil rights activist Jerome Gray, LDF Co-Counsels U.W. Clemon, Steve Ralston and Solomon Seay, Jr. provided remarks on the moments leading up to securing the march and the legal strategies they employed to have a successful outcome.
The reception followed with an open discussion facilitated by Associate Director-Counsel Janai Nelson which prompted the younger generation to express their views on voting, civil rights and race relations. A delegation of students from Wake Forest University made the trip from North Carolina.