Forum Theme 2
On September 23, 2015, the University of Northern Iowa celebrated Constitution Day with a forum marking the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965. I served as moderator of the panel, and we were fortunate to have four distinguished speakers who discussed various aspects of the history, legacy, and current status of the VRA. The Rev. Dr. Michael Blackwell, UNI Director for Multicultural Education Emeritus, and President and Executive Director of the Project for the Beloved Community, Inc., commemorated the passage of the VRA by discussing some of the background and personalities involved in the years before the VRA became law, as well as talking about the current challenges related to voting rights. Professor John Johnson from the Department of History at UNI looked at the conditions in the United States before the passage of the VRA, in particular discussing methods used to disenfranchise voters. Scott Peters, Associate Professor of Political Science, explored current issues related to recent and upcoming Supreme Court decisions. Finally, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate talked about voting rights in Iowa and the importance of voting. What follows are the remarks each panelist made for UNI’s forum on The 50thAnniversary of the Voting Rights Act: Progress, Problems, and Perils.
©2016 Donna R. Hoffman
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Hoffman, Donna R.
UNIversitas: Journal of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity: Vol. 11:
1, Article 10.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/universitas/vol11/iss1/10