Civil rights legends and leaders, community activists, the Houston Police Chief, musicians and comedians will speak out April 8-10 at the LBJ Foundation’s “The Summit on Race in America,” to explore our nation’s continuing racial divide and struggle for racial equality. The three-day summit will be held at the LBJ Presidential Library, on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin.
Presenters include Andrew Young, Dolores Huerta, Bryan Stevenson, Madeleine Albright, Black Lives Matter activists, the Houston Police Chief and many other national leaders. Joining them on stage will be an unlikely crew—some of the funniest comedians in the country. Why? Our complicated views on race are shaped today as much by the New York Times and cable news as they are by comedians and musicians and other pop-culture truth tellers.
“Ever since Richard Pryor began using his comedic gifts to break down barriers, comedy has played an integral role in our understanding of race,” said Mark K. Updegrove, LBJ Foundation president and CEO. “While no one event could ever do justice to such a complex and personal topic as race, the hope is that—through open discussions and maybe even a few laughs—we can achieve greater understanding and perhaps even unity in these divided times.”
Some of Motown’s biggest stars also will join the Summit, revealing how Motown forever changed American music and perceptions of African-Americans. Their appearance coincides with the GRAMMY Museum®’s new exhibit, “Motown: The Sound of Young America,” opening exclusively at the LBJ Presidential Library on Saturday, April 13.
Major participants at the Summit include Andrew Young, former UN Ambassador and civil rights legend; Dolores Huerta, Founder and President, Dolores Huerta Foundation; Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State; Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative; Vernon Jordan, civil rights activist and business executive; DeRay Mckesson, co-founder of Campaign Zero and Black Lives Matter activist; Brittany Packnett, co-host of “Pod Save the People” and co-founder of Campaign Zero; Lonnie Bunch, Founding Director, National Museum of African American History and Culture; Valerie Jarrett, advisor to President Obama and author of “Finding My Voice;” Art Acevedo, Houston Police Chief; Yamiche Alcindor, White House Correspondent for PBS NewsHour; comedians George Lopez, Sasheer Zamata, Dulcé Sloan and Aparna Nancherla; musicians Wyclef Jean and Jimmy Jam, and Motown legends Duke Fakir, Founding Member of The Four Tops; Claudette Robinson, Member of The Miracles; and Mary Wilson, Founding Member of The Supremes.
Through conversations, performances, film clips and presentations, the Summit will take on several of the issues of our time—including voting rights, immigration, movement building, economic empowerment, and the portrayal of race through the media. In celebration of the 60th anniversary of Motown Records, the Summit will conclude with a preview of the Library’s exhibit, “Motown: The Sound of Young America.” This is the first time many of the exhibition’s artifacts have been seen in in a museum setting.