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    Dillard speaker helped make history at Martin Luther King Jr.’s side PDF Print E-mail
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    By Katy Reckdahl
    Special to the Advocate
    September 24, 2013

    Clarence B. Jones, who will speak Tuesday night at Dillard University as part of its annual “Brain Food” lecture series, is a well-known scholar and lawyer. He was the first African-American to become a partner in a Wall Street investment-banking firm.

    But what Jones, 82, is likely to be best remembered for is six paragraphs he wrote 50 years ago.

    Those paragraphs began the celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at the March on Washington in August 1963.

    At the time, Jones was King’s personal attorney and one of his closest advisers. Speechwriting was just one of his duties, he said in a recent phone interview. Because of the importance of the march and his address to it, King had invited several key labor and civil-rights advocates to give him input on the speech.

    During those meetings, Jones was the appointed note-taker and synthesizer. Afterward, he incorporated everyone’s suggestions, wrote a draft of the speech in longhand on yellow legal paper, and gave it to King. He expected his friend to change the text significantly, as he recounted in his 2011 book “Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation,” which he wrote with Stuart Connelly.

    But the next day, as he listened to King deliver the speech to a crowd of more than 250,000 in front of the Lincoln Memorial, the words were very familiar. “A pleasant shock came over me as I realized that he seemed to be essentially reciting those suggested opening paragraphs I had scrawled down the night before in my hotel room,” Jones wrote.

    In fact, it was exactly Jones’ words. “He hadn’t changed a sentence or even a comma,” Jones said last week, in a strong voice that makes him sound like a man half his age.

    Then, in what is now a well-known part of history, King’s good friend, New Orleans-born gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, yelled out, “Martin — tell them about the dream.” Jones saw King shift the prepared notes aside, grab the lectern and deliver the rest of the famous speech extemporaneously.

    “The effect was nothing short of soul-stirring,” Jones wrote.

    Jones, whose specialty was intellectual property, also penned a small copyright symbol on the copies of King’s speech given to reporters before the speech.

    The handwritten symbol, he said, became a key part of legal opinions that have kept the speech out of the public domain; its proceeds have provided King’s estate with a consistent source of income.

    Jones relied upon his personal experience for the speech’s fourth and fifth paragraphs, which compare America’s promise with a defaulted promissory note.

    Instead of fulfilling its promise, Jones wrote — and King read — “America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’”

    They’re now famous words. But they were written about a moment when Jones thought he himself might default on a debt he couldn’t repay.

    The Newest Hotspot for Global Education: HBCUs PDF Print E-mail
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    Dillard University is recognized as one of the newest hotspots for global education according to the Huffington Post.

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    10 College Presidents on Twitter Who are doing it Right PDF Print E-mail
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    By Roger Riddell          
    Education Dive 

    WMK 2-20122The amount of attention focused on how technology impacts education in (or out of) the lecture hall often overshadows its affect on its impact behind the scenes. Take, for example, the university presidency. Among the duties of those presiding over higher ed institutions is outreach, and if technology has done anything for the men and women running the nation's colleges, it has made it easier for these leaders to develop a unique relationship with students (both prospective and current), parents, the community and more. 

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    Dillard Student Nicole Tinson featured in interview on Bill Moyers show PDF Print E-mail
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    August 29, 2013
    by Reniqua Allen

    Black youth activists across the country have had a busy summer — protesting the George Zimmerman verdict, helping ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to vote, and fighting against policies like stop and frisk and Stand Your Ground. As the nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, young black activists gathered at the Mall in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, not only to commemorate the past, but to strategize about how to create a better future. In this short video filmed at the Black Youth Vote! pre-march rally and the Realize the Dream March on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, black youth explain what brought them to nation’s capital and why their voices matter in the 21st-century struggle for civil rights.

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    President of Hip Hop Caucus at Dillard PDF Print E-mail
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    Written by: 
    Mona Duffel Jones
    Director of Communications and Marketing
    August 22, 2013


    (New Orleans) Dillard University’s class of 2017 will begin the 2013-14 academic year with a visit from Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., president and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus, minister and nationally known leader in engaging youth in the electoral process.

    The Hip Hop Caucus is known for its mobilization efforts in registering tens of thousands of young people to vote. In 2008, the group set a record by registering 32,000 people in one day in 16 cities across the country. 

    Yearwood founded the Hip Hop Caucus in 2004 as a means of demonstrating the power of the Hip Hop Community and to get the attention of government in Washington, D.C.  as well as throughout the nation.  The group has been actively involved in a number of social justice issues.  Most notably, after Hurricane Katrina Rev. Yearwood led a coalition of national and grassroots organizations to advocate for the rights of Katrina survivors in regards to housing, education and employment.

    He has collaborated on a myriad of activist projects with widely known individuals and populr artists such as Russell Simmons, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jay Z, P. Diddy, and Keyshia Cole, amont others. Rev. Yearwood’s dvocacy initiatives include environmental campaigns, a 2007 pro-peace  tour, “Make Hip-Hop Not War,” and the “Vote or Die!” campaign, to name a few.

    Yearwood has been recognized as one of the 100 most powerful African American by Ebony Magazine, and one of the 10 Game Changers in the Green movement by Huffington Post. He was also named to the Source Magazine’s Power 30, Utne Magazine’s 50 Visionaries changing the world, and the Root 100 Young Achievers and Pacesetters.

    Born is Shreveport, Louisiana, Yearwood’s family is from Trinidad and Tobago. He is a graduate of Howard University School of Divinity and the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). Rev. Yearwood taught Social Justice at Georgetown University prior to his work as a civil rights activist.


    Click here to see photos on Dillard University's new Flicker page.

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