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Harvard Law professor to visit UNI

February 14, 2013

Michael Blackwell, director, Center for Multicultural Education, (319) 273-2250,

Stacey Christensen, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host Randall L. Kennedy, the Michael R. Klein Professor of Law at Harvard University, on Thursday, Feb. 28 and Friday, March 1. A reception and brief lecture will take place from 7 to 9 p.m., on Thursday, in the Center for Multicultural Education (CME), and he will present his keynote address at 8:30 a.m., on Friday, in the Maucker Union Old Central Ballroom. Kennedy will be speaking on the subject of "Race Relations and the Law in the Obama Era."

"Some people feel racial discrimination is a thing of the past, " said Michael Blackwell, director of UNI's CME. "Civil rights laws and the ascendancy of Obama to the Presidency and a second term seem to suggest to many that race relations are at an all-time high. Professor Kennedy will demonstrate not only that these perceptions are untrue, but also that the law can't alone resolve the multiple and cumulative effects of past and present personal and institutional racism."

Kennedy is the author of "Race, Crime, and the Law," which won the 1998 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. Most recently he has written "The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency."

The events are free, open to the public, and are sponsored by UNI's CME and the Waterloo Commission on Human Rights. For more information, contact Blackwell at 319-273-2250 or