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Continuing Legacy of Slavery Focus of Civil Rights Town Meeting  

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MICHAEL WILLIAMS L’96 participated in a panel discussion last April that reflected on the past history and current progress of the civil rights movement, asking, “How far have we come?” The Lincoln Legacy Town Meeting, at the National Constitution Center, produced a lively dialogue on the legacy of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments’ abolition of slavery.

Williams, deputy finance director and executive director of the Minority Business Enterprise Council for the City of Philadelphia, spoke about strategies for leveling the playing field for minority entrepreneurs in spite of contemporary discrimination. The other commentators, who included Earl Maltz of Rutgers Law School and Senator Harris Wofford, discussed a wide range of issues ranging from the epidemic incarceration rate of young black men to racially prejudiced drug laws. U.S. Third Circuit Judge Dolores Sloviter L’56 served as a moderator.

Williams saw the meeting as a chance to raise awareness for the continuing fight against racism in America. “No one can take away from the good that these amendments did, but the job isn’t completed, not only for society, but for the government itself, to eradicate all the vestiges of slavery,” he said.
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