Dean’s Leadership Forum on Diversity returns to Widener Law Harrisburg campus
Public Relations - Published: March 22, 2013
2013DeansDiversityMLKfreedomMarchHBGNews400PXPromoAmerica’s progress toward equality in the 50 years since Martin Luther King’s iconic “I have a Dream” speech will frame the discussion of the 2013 Widener Law Dean’s Leadership Forum on Diversity.

The half-day event, founded by Dean Linda L. Ammons in 2007, will examine how far we have come and how far we must journey in our efforts to, as King challenged, “open the doors or opportunity to all of God’s children” and “lift our nation onto the solid rock of brotherhood.” He delivered the famous speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 28, 1963.

The Widener forum will take place Tuesday, March 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room A180 of the Widener Law Administration Building at 3800 Vartan Way, Harrisburg. It will feature opening remarks from Ammons followed by two panel discussions.

The first panel, “Ending Racism in a Post-Racial America,” will run from 9:15 to 10:45 a.m. and consider whether the election of President Obama signaled the start of a post-racial America. The second panel, “Race and Language in a Jury of My Peers” will consider how jury panels should be composed and operate in a diverse, multi-lingual America when many states presently exclude non-English-speaking and bilingual jurors. The second panel will run from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Ammons is the senior African-American female dean currently running a U.S. law school. She began the Dean’s Leadership Forum on Diversity in 2007 with a program on diversity in higher education. Other program topics have included diversity in state government and in sports. The forum was designed to provide a safe place for lawyers, students, academicians and nonlawyers to come together to discuss issues of race, gender, class, religion, ethnicity and affection in the context of education, law practice in the private and public sectors, and the wider community.

“Dr. King’s words echoed around Washington and the world that day in 1963,” Ammons said. “They still provide a framework for a frank discussion of our progress as a nation, in terms of gains for diverse voices in the political arena, and for the work that needs to be done in our justice system. I look forward to a thoughtful program.”

The 2013 event will begin with continental breakfast and registration at 8:30 a.m. and opening remarks by Ammons at 9 a.m. The program has been approved for three continuing legal education credits for attorneys in Pennsylvania and Delaware, including one ethics credit. The cost to attend for credits is $75 and includes lunch after the second panel discussion. The program is open to the general public at a cost of $35. Students may attend at no cost, without lunch or materials. To register, or for more information, contact Sandra L. Graeff at 717.541.3965 or