Legacy of Slavery Focus of Civil Rights Town Meeting
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.