Civil Rights Lawyers Attend Federal Briefing on Desegregation Cases

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - Attorneys from the U.S. Department of Education and the Justice Department convened a meeting on July 18 with Washington-based officials representing HBCUs and civil rights organizations to brief the group on the current status of nine higher education desegregation cases. The meeting was held at the U.S. Department of Justice.

The states discussed at the briefing were Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Pennsylvania. Ohio, and Louisiana, all of which are under federal review and monitoring for active higher education desegregation cases.

Raymond C. Pierce, deputy assistant secretary in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, said he convened the meeting in response to the numerous inquiries he has received from members of the civil rights community.

Among those attending the briefing were Lezli Baskerville, general counsel of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education; Dr. Elias Blake; higher education policy expert and director of the Benjamin E. Mays Center; Janell Byrd, assistant counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Walter Vinson, legislative assistant to U.S. Congressman Bennie Thompson; Marshall Grigsby, senior legislative aide to U.S. Congressman William Clay; and Dr. Joyce Payne, director for minority and human resource programs in the Office for the Advancement of Public Black Colleges at the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges. …