It can be said a confluence of challenges has led to a fraying of the social contract, as Americans seem to be losing faith in the ability of our systems of government to deal with even the most tractable problems.
However, history teaches that if the challenges we face today are to be resolved, we must find ways to reach consensus on the underlying causes of the problems and develop responses to them grounded in the best available information and in mutual trust and collaboration. This morning we welcome two distinguished guests who have been doing just that.
Michael Klarman is the Kirkland & Ellis Professor at Harvard Law School. He is the author of From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality, Unfinished Business: Racial Equality in American History, and Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement. His latest book is From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage.
Alex Willingham has worked directly advancing civil rights, on the front lines with such organizations as the ACLU, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the National Jury Project. In 1989 he joined Williams College where he taught, among other things, civil rights, voting rights, and Southern politics. He is currently Professor of Political Science, Emeritus.
Partial support for this project comes from Mass Humanities, State-Based Affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Mass Humanities grant is part of their initiative - Crisis, Community, and Civic Culture.