Civil rights leader to speak at Notre Dame Law School

A national leader in the 1960’s civil rights movement who was instrumental in the eventual passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1964 will speak at Notre Dame Law School next week.

Diane Nash will deliver the Inaugural Dean’s Lecture on Race, Law, and Society at the northern Indiana law school March 7. Nash’s speech, “Civil Rights Movements of the ‘60s: A Legacy for Today,” is open to the general public.

Nash rose to prominence in the 1960s as a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and as an instructor for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which was led by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Nash participated in sit-ins at segregated lunch counters – leading to her arrest and incarceration in 1960 – and was also active in the right-to-vote movement in Selma, Alabama.

Nash’s work has earned her various honors, including the Rosa Parks Award, the Distinguished American Award from the John F. Kennedy Library and Foundation and the LBJ Award of Leadership in Civil Rights. The University of Notre Dame also awarded her an honorary doctorate of law in 2016.

“Diane Nash’s life points to the power of faithful, nonviolent protest in the face of unjust law,” Jennifer Mason McAward, director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights and an associate professor law, said in a statement. “Her leadership in the civil rights movement will inspire a new generation of Notre Dame students.”

Nash’s presentation will begin at 12:30 p.m. March 7 in the Patrick F. McCarton Courtroom in the Eck Hall of Law.

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