Dr. Mary Frances Berry
Chair, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
Dr. Mary Frances Berry is the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought at the University of Pennsylvania and Chairperson of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She was Assistant Secretary for Education in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare during the Carter Administration. Prior to her service at HEW, Dr. Berry was Provost at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Chancellor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. One of the founders of the Free South Africa Movement, she has received 24 honorary doctoral degrees as well as numerous awards for her public service and scholarly activities.
Chairman of the Board, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Julian Bond has been an active participant in the movements for civil rights, economic justice, and peace for more than three decades. He was a founder, in 1960, while a student at Morehouse College, of the Atlanta student sit-in and anti-segregation organization, and of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Mr. Bond is a veteran of more than 20 years of service in the Georgia state legislature. Mr. Bond is currently a Professor of History at the University of Virginia and the Distinguished Professor-in-Residence at the American University in Washington, D.C.
Senator Alan Cranston
U.S. Senate 1969-1993; President, Global Security Institute
Senator Alan Cranston is currently President of the Global Security Institute and Director of the Institute’s Nuclear Weapon Elimination Initiative. Senator Cranston served in Mongolia as an official U.S. monitor of the 1993 Presidential election (first in the history of that country) and was a delegate to a conference of world philosopher-statesmen convened by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in India. He is also Senior International Advisor for Schooner Capital Corporation, a Boston venture capital firm.
Kerry Kennedy Cuomo
Human Rights Activist; Founder and Former Executive Director of the RFK Center for Human Rights
Ms. Kennedy Cuomo is an attorney who has been working in the field of international human rights since 1981 and has led nearly three-dozen human rights delegations to more than 20 countries around the world. In 1988, she established the RFK Center for Human Rights to ensure the protection of rights codified under the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. Ms. Kennedy Cuomo is the author of Speak Truth to Power: Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing Our World. She is Co-Chair of the Amnesty International Leadership Council and serves on several boards of directors, including those of the African American Institute, the Democracy for China Fund, and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial.
Former Counsel to President Clinton and to President Carter
Mr. Cutler is the founder and Co-Chair of the Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights Under Law. He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Salzburg Seminar; Co-Chair of the Committee on the Constitutional System; a member of the Council of the American Law Institute; a trustee emeritus and Executive Committee member of The Brookings Institution; and an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple.
Senator Thomas Eagleton
U.S. Senate, 1968-1987
Senator Eagleton served on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (1993-1998) and is a former Lt. Governor for the State of Missouri, as well as a former Missouri State Attorney. He was instrumental in the Senate's passage of the Clean Air and Water Acts, and sponsored the Eagleton Amendment, which halted the bombing in Cambodia and effectively ended American involvement in the Vietnam War. After three terms in the U.S. Senate, Senator Eagleton returned to St. Louis as an attorney, political commentator, and Washington University professor.
The Most Reverend Joseph A. Fiorenza
Bishop of Galveston-Houston; President, National Conference of Catholic Bishops
Since Pope John Paul II named Bishop Fiorenza as head of the Diocese of Galveston-Houston in 1984, he has served the more than 1.3 million Catholics that make the Diocese the largest in Texas and the tenth largest in the nation. In 1998, Bishop Fiorenza began a three-year term as President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, an organization that includes the approximately 300 active and 100 retired Catholic Bishops.
Dr. John Hope Franklin
Chair, Advisory Board One America: The President's Initiative on Race
Currently the James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University, Professor Franklin's numerous publications include From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans, The Militant South, Reconstruction After the Civil War, Race and History: Selected Essays, 1938-1988, and The Color Line: Legacy for the Twenty-first Century. He is the recipient of many honors including the Jefferson Medal, the NAACP's Spingarn Medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton
Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Detroit
Bishop Gumbleton founded Pax Christi, USA, served as president of Bread for the World, and was a member of the “Coming Home” delegation sent to secure the release of American hostages held in Iraq in 1990.
Executive Director, Leadership Council on Civil Rights (LCCR)
Prior to his work with the LCCR, Mr. Henderson was the Washington Bureau Director of the NAACP, and the Director of the NAACP’s Voter Empowerment Program. He served as Executive Director of the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) and as Assistant Dean and Director of the Minority Student Program at Rutgers University School of Law. Mr. Henderson was awarded the Civil Rights Leadership Award by the Israeli Embassy and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
President and General Counsel, Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)
Ms. Hernandez is a former staff member of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. In addition to leading MALDEF, she is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Endowment for Democracy and sits on the Commission on White House Fellowships, as well as serving on several other national boards.
Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C.
President Emeritus, University of Notre Dame
Father Hesburgh served as the President of the University of Notre Dame from 1952 to 1987. His public service career has been distinguished by 15 Presidential appointments. He was a charter member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, on which he served from 1957 until 1972. Father Hesburgh is the recipient of the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, awarded to him by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964. This summer, President Clinton and congressional leaders presented Father Hesburgh with the Congressional Gold Medal for his outstanding contributions in the fields of civil rights, higher education, and religion.
Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr.
Civic and Political Leader; President and Founder, Rainbow Coalition/PUSH
During the past three decades, Reverend Jackson has played a major role in virtually every movement for empowerment, peace, civil rights, gender equality, and economic and social justice. Reverend Jackson began his activism as a student leader in the sit-in movement and continued as an assistant to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He went on to direct Operation Breadbasket, founded People United to Save Humanity (PUSH) in 1971 and the National Rainbow Coalition in 1984. Reverend Jackson was appointed by President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as "Special Envoy of the President and Secretary of State for the Promotion of Democracy in Africa." He is also the recipient of the NAACP’s Springarn Award and numerous honorary doctorate degrees.
Japanese American Civil Rights Leader
Mr. Korematsu was arrested in 1942 and sentenced to prison when he resisted the forced internment of 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry. Although the U.S. Supreme Court upheld his conviction, Mr. Korematsu continued his fight for vindication and redress of the injustice done to the Japanese American community. More than 40 years later, Mr. Korematsu’s conviction was overturned. In 1988, Congress passed legislation declaring the internment of Japanese Americans a "grave injustice" and appropriated reparations for each surviving internee. Mr. Korematsu is also a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Dean Anthony T. Kronman
Dean of Yale Law School
Anthony T. Kronman was appointed to be the sixteenth dean of the Yale Law School in 1994 after 16 years on the Yale Law School faculty. His teaching areas include contracts, bankruptcy, jurisprudence, and the legal profession. Dean Kronman is the author or co-author of four books and many articles on various scholarly subjects. His last book, The Lost Lawyer, deals with the contemporary state of the American legal profession and analyzes the movement away from what he calls the “lawyer-statesman” ideal of responsible law practice.
Reverend James Lawson, Jr.
Pastor Emeritus, Holman United Methodist Church, Los Angeles
Reverend Lawson joined the civil rights movement in the 1950’s and was described by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as "the leading non-violence theorist in the world." Beginning in 1959 as the leader of the Nashville workshops for nonviolence, he served as one of Dr. King’s closest advisors, preparing young Freedom Riders for sit-ins and marches across the South. Reverend Lawson has devoted nearly a half- century to championing human rights causes. He is the former Director of Nonviolent Education for the SCLC, the current National Chair of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the recipient of numerous honors, including the 1999 Office of the Americas Peace and Justice Award.
Director and Founding Member of People for the American Way; Chairman, ACT III Communications
Mr. Lear has received numerous honors for his pioneering work in television, including the National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton, four Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award and induction into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1984. He is also the founder of The Business Enterprise Trust and co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Foundation of Southern California. His civic awards include the First Amendment Lectureship Award from the Ford Hall Forum and the Humanitarian Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
Actor; President, Jalem Productions, Inc.
Mr. Lemmon has made over sixty films and received numerous awards, including eight Academy Award Nominations, two Oscars, and the American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to his contributions to television, radio, film and theater, Mr. Lemmon has a long history as a civil and human rights activist.
Former Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
As Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General in the DOJ, one of Mr. Litt's main responsibilities was for law enforcement matters. He has also served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the DOJ, as Special Advisor in the U.S. Department of State and as former Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief Appellate Attorney, Southern District of New York.
Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
Co-Founder and President Emeritus, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
Reverend Lowery, a United Methodist, joined Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the group of mostly southern Baptist ministers in founding the SCLC in 1957. He was designated by Dr. King to deliver the petition to former Alabama Governor George Wallace that concluded the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March. For more than 30 years, he served as pastor of the historic Central United Methodist Church in Atlanta. Reverend Lowery and the SCLC have worked to register millions of voters over the past 20 years and initiated the "gun buy-back" program, which has been responsible for taking 20,000 guns from the nation's streets and homes since April 4, 1993 - the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King. Reverend Lowery has also been the nation's foremost spokesman on the issue of the Black Church Burnings. He heads the Black Leadership Forum, an umbrella organization of 17 of the nation's foremost civil rights groups, including the NAACP, the National Urban League and the National Council of Negro Women.
Cardinal Roger Mahony
Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles
Cardinal Mahony also serves as Chair of the Domestic Policy Committee of the U.S. Catholic Conference.
Former Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
Mr. Nathan also served as Special Minority Counsel to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and is a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General to Enforcement in the Criminal Division of the DOJ.
Angela E. Oh
Member, Advisory Board One America: The President’s Initiative on Race
Ms. Oh is an attorney, who recently left her criminal defense practice in Los Angeles to teach, write and lecture on the subject of race relations in America. She is the Chancellor's Fellow at the University of California at Irvine and is currently on a national lecture tour.
Mario G. Obledo
President, National Coalition of Hispanic Organizations
Mr. Obledo, an attorney, is one of the nation's leading Hispanic American civil rights advocates. He was a co-founder of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and the National Hispanic Bar Association. Mr. Obledo is a former Secretary of Health and Welfare for the State of California and served as President of MALDEF and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and as Chair of the National Rainbow Coalition. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Medal of Freedom from President Clinton
Professor Robert Reich
Former U.S. Secretary of Labor
Mr. Reich is founder and national editor of The American Prospect. Currently, he is the Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy at Brandeis University and its Heller Graduate School. As President Clinton’s Secretary of Labor during his first term, he was instrumental in raising the minimum wage for the first time since 1989. Before heading the Labor Department, Mr. Reich was a member of the faculty of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He also served as an assistant to the solicitor general in the Ford administration. Mr. Reich is the author of seven books, including The Work of Nations.
President, United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO
Mr. Rodriguez, who holds a masters degree in social work, has been an organizer for the United Farm Workers of America for nearly 30 years. In 1969, Mr. Rodriguez, then a college student, first became active in the UFW grape boycott. Since 1993, when he became president of the union founded by Cesar Chavez, Mr. Rodriguez has worked to increase UFW membership and union contracts. He was elected to the AFL-CIO's Executive Council in 1995 in recognition of the UFW’s renewed organizing and negotiating success.
President-elect, National Bar Association
Rabbi David Saperstein
Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Rabbi Saperstein, who is also an attorney, represents the national Reform Jewish Movement to Congress and the administration. He was elected by Congress as the first Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and also serves on the board of other organizations such as the NAACP and is Co-Chair of the Coalition to Preserve Religious Liberty.
The Honorable H. Lee Sarokin
Retired Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Before his appointment to the Third Circuit, Judge Sarokin served for twenty-five years as a member of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. He is a past Chair of the National Conference of Federal Judges and was a member of the Committees on Judicial Administration, Judicial Improvements and Automation of the Federal Judiciary. Known as a jurist of integrity and courage, in 1985, Judge Sarokin issued the writ of habeas corpus that freed Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. In 1988, presiding over one of the early tobacco trials, he found that there was evidence of a tobacco conspiracy “vast in its scope, devious in its purpose, and devastating in its results."
Stanley K. Sheinbaum
Economist; Founding Publisher, New Perspectives Quarterly
Mr. Sheinbaum is the publisher of New Perspectives Quarterly. He was a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Chairman of the American Civil Liberties Foundation of Southern California, and Regent of the University of California from 1977-89. In 1971, Mr. Sheinbaum organized the Pentagon Papers-Daniel Ellsberg Defense Team. Mr. Sheinbaum was one of the founders of People for the American Way, founded the west coast affiliate of Human Rights Watch, and was President of the Los Angeles Police Commission from 1991-1993.
Former President and Chief Operating Officer of MCA, Inc./Universal Pictures
Mr. Sheinberg is currently a partner at The Bubble Factory, an independent production company. He serves on the National Boards of the Conference of Christians and Jews, Human Rights Watch, the American Jewish Committee, Research to Prevent Blindness, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He is co-founder of The Children's Action Network and Hollywood Supports.
Senator Paul Simon
U. S. Senate, 1984-1997, U.S. House of Representatives, 1974-1984
Senator Simon is the Founder and Director of the Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, where he also teaches political science and journalism. While in the Senate, he served on the Budget, Foreign Relations, Indian Affairs, Judiciary, and Labor and Human Resources Committees.
Philanthropist; President and Chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC.
George Soros established his first foundation, the Open Society Fund, in New York in 1979, and now supports a network of foundations that operate in thirty-one countries throughout the world and are dedicated to building and maintaining the infrastructure and institutions of an open society. Mr. Soros, who is the recipient of several honorary degrees, is also the author of articles and books on global capitalism and the political and economic changes in Eastern Europe.
President, The Streisand Foundation
Ms. Streisand is a world-renowned, multi-award winning actress, singer, film director, producer and composer. She also is a committed political activist and philanthropist.
John Van de Kamp
California Attorney General, 1983-1991
Mr. Van de Kamp is currently of counsel to the law firm of Dewey Ballantine LLP and a member of the Board of Directors of the Employers Group and of United Airlines. During his legal career, he served as the District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles, the Federal Public Defender of Los Angeles, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California, and the Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys.
National Latino Leader
Mr. Vargas, an educator, is one of the leading Latinos in the non-profit sector. In January 1999, he was elected to a second term as chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of national Latino organizations. He received Hispanic Magazine's 1995 Hispanic Achievement Award for Community Service, the National Federation of Hispanic-Owned Newspapers' 1998 Leadership Award, the National Association for Bilingual Education's 1999 President's Award and was included in Hispanic Business Magazine's List of 100 Hispanic Influentials in 1996 and 1998.
Reverend C.T. Vivian
Founder and Board Chair, Center for Democratic Renewal (formerly the National Anti-Klan Network); President, Black Action Strategies and Information Center (B.A.S.I.C.)
Reverend Vivian has been a leader in the civil rights movement for more than fifty years and was a close associate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He began organizing non-violent sit-ins in Peoria, Illinois in 1945. As co-founder of the Nashville Christian Leadership Conference in 1959, Reverend Vivian helped establish organizational foundations of the Nashville sit-in movement. During the 1960's, Reverend Vivian organized the first protest march of the movement in Nashville and rode the first freedom bus to Jackson, Mississippi, where he was arrested and severely beaten. He is also the author of Black Power and the American Myth, a social analysis of the civil rights movement.
Reverend Jim Wallis
Editor-in-Chief/Executive Director, Sojourners magazine
Reverend Wallis became involved in the civil rights struggle as a teenager and was a leader of the student anti-war movement. He is the chief organizer of the Call to Renewal, a coalition of churches working to overcome poverty. Reverend Wallis describes his life work as “faith-based organizing,” which seeks to give people a moral basis for their involvement in social justice issues. Reverend Wallis’ most recent publication is Faith Works: Lessons from the Life of an Activist Preacher.
Board Member, Murder Victims Family for Reconciliation
Mr. Welch's only daughter, Julie Marie Welch, was killed in the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995. In the wake of that tragedy, Mr. Welch became an activist in opposing the death penalty and is also involved in legislative efforts to address the needs of victims’ family members. Mr. Welch was honored as Abolitionist of the Year by the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
Professor Elie Wiesel
Nobel Peace Laureate; Founder, The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity
Professor Wiesel is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal and the Medal of Liberty Award, the rank of Grand Officer in the French Legion of Honor, and the Nobel Peace Prize. President Jimmy Carter appointed him Chairman of the President's Commission on the Holocaust, and the Founding Chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. He is the author of more than 40 books and has received numerous honorary degrees from institutions of higher learning. Mr. Wiesel has been Distinguished Professor of Judaic Studies at the City University of New York (1972-1976), first Henry Luce Visiting Scholar in the Humanities and Social Thought at Yale University (1982-1983) and is currently the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University.
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