Clayborne Carson Speaks on King Legacy at CILC Inauguration
Dr. Clayborne Carson, Professor of History and founding Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University, spoke on "The Global Vision and Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr." to a packed Wilkins Moot Courtroom on February 4 as the UC Davis School of Law launched the new California International Law Center at King Hall (CILC).
The event included opening remarks from Dean Kevin R. Johnson, who said that CILC would build on the Law School's tradition of international law scholarship through such things as sponsoring a speakers' series, focusing the international curriculum and career development, and creating important new partnerships with international organizations including the American Society of International Law and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. Professor Diane Marie Amann, CLIC director, introduced Carson, noting that King's conception of human rights was "inevitably and inherently global" and has important implications for international law.
Carson began his address by stating that it was a "wonderful time to be talking about Dr. King," as the country considers his legacy in light of the inauguration of its first African-American president. Carson shared memories of attending the August 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, and his thoughts on returning to the National Mall for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Carson considered the changes that followed in the wake of the civil rights movement, and noted the diversity of overflow audience of King Hall students, faculty, and staff in the Wilkins Moot Courtroom. "Looking at this group, I can imagine that half of you might not be here were it not for the events of 1963," he said.
Much of Carson's lecture addressed the fact that, from his earliest speeches, King's vision extended far beyond the immediate goals of the civil rights movement to issues of human rights on a global scale. "I invite all of you to think of King not only as a person who gave a great speech in 1963, but someone who continues to challenge us in 2009," said Carson.
Carson's speech was recorded by university technicians and is expected to be available online soon from the CILC website and from UC Davis iTunesU.
Davis Enterprise article