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February 11, 2008


Renown Activist and Historian of Black America to Discuss the Impact of Martin Luther King’s Influence on Today’s Political and Social Landscape

NEW YORK, February 11, 2008– Dr.Vincent Harding will present the Powell Center for Policy Studies’ New York Life lecture, “The Last Years of King and the Future of Democracy in America,” 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 20, at The City College of New York (CCNY).   The event is the second of a twice-a-year series of lectures made possible by the New York Life Endowment for Emerging African American Issues.

Dr. Harding, a professor emeritus at the Illiff School of Theology at the University of Denver and founder of the Veterans of Hope Project, will explore the impact and influence of Dr. King’s life and work, focusing especially on the often-overlooked years that followed 1963.  Dr. Harding was a close associate of Dr. King’s, and is the author of numerous books, including “Martin Luther King: An Inconvenient Hero,” and “There Is a River,” a chronicle of black resistance to slavery.  Dr. Harding was also the senior academic adviser to the PBS series “Eyes on the Prize.”Dr. Eugene Callender, the Powell Center’s New York Life Leader-in-Residence, will introduce the speaker.

The event will provide an excellent opportunity to reflect on and discuss the message of Dr. King’s leadership and his calls for change in light of today’s political environment.  The lecture will take place in Room 250 of Shepard Hall on the CCNY campus at West 140th Street and Convent Avenue.  A reception will follow the session.  The event is free and open to the public.  Please visit the Powell Center Website at http://www1.ccny.cuny.edu/ci/cpowellcenter.cfm for more information.

About Dr. Vincent Harding

Dr. Vincent Harding is an African-American Mennonite minister and historian who was a central figure in the Civil Rights movement. He holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago and taught at Spellman College in Atlanta in the 1960s. He is also one of the founders of the movement to establish Black Studies programs in U.S. universities and has been a touchstone leader for social activists. Dr. Harding is currently chairman of the Veterans of Hope Project, an educational initiative that has chronicled the experiences of the “veterans” of the Civil Rights movement.

About the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies

The Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies is a nonpartisan research center named for General Colin L. Powell, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and City College’s most distinguished graduate.  Established in 1997, the Center is dedicated to developing a new generation of publicly engaged leaders from populations previously under-represented in policy circles and to bridging the academic and policy-making spheres.  Its programming encompasses scholarship, service learning, and policy research and events. 

About the New York Life Endowment for Emerging African-American Issues

In December 2006, the New York Life Foundation awarded the Colin Powell Center a $10 million grant to create the New York Life Endowment for Emerging African-American Issues. The award, which is the Center’s first endowment and City College’s second largest-ever gift, creates a dynamic, ongoing funding source that provides the Colin Powell Center with a strong foundation for policy research, scholarships, and programming on issues of importance to the African-American and other underserved communities.

About The City College of New York

For more than 160 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines.  Over 14,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; The School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture (SAUDLA); The School of Education; The Grove School of Engineering, and The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.  For additional information, visit www.ccny.cuny.edu.