Thursday, January 14, 2016

MLK Memorial Lecture and Food Drive Slated for Central Library on Sunday, January 17

event poster

What: The 13th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture and Food Drive, free and open to public
Who: Birmingham lawyer David Gespass discussing “Voting Rights from Selma to Columbiana: Not Always Onward, Not Always Upward”
When: Sunday, January 17, 2016, 3:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Arrington Auditorium in the Linn-Henley Building, 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL 35203

The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) will host its 13th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture on Sunday, January 17, at the Central Library, 2100 Park Place in downtown Birmingham. The lecture will be held at 3:00 p.m. in the Arrington Auditorium in the Linn-Henley Research Library a day before the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday.

In conjunction with the King lecture, the Birmingham Peace Project and the Birmingham Islamic Society will host a food drive benefiting Greater Birmingham Ministries. Bring non-perishable food items such as pasta, lentils, spices, beans, cooking supplies, and canned goods to the Central Library Atrium between 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. on January 17.

This year’s speaker, human rights attorney David Gespass, is author of the National Lawyers Guild brief to the Supreme Court defending the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County vs. Holder. He began his law practice in Washington, DC in 1971 and spent a year working in Japan with the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Office.

The food drive is being held for the first time in conjunction with the Martin Luther King Lecture, said Jim Baggett, head of BPL’s Department of Archives and Manuscripts.

"We're excited to partner with the Birmingham Peace Project and the Birmingham Islamic Society to collect food for Greater Birmingham Ministries,” Baggett said. “Poverty and hunger were important issues to Dr. King and it's fitting to honor his memory in this way."

Gespass is the immediate past president of the National Lawyers Guild, the oldest integrated national bar organization in the United States. He has also served as editor-in-chief of the Guild Practitioner (now NLG Review), the Guild's intellectual journal. Gespass was a founder and steering committee member of the Military Law Task Force and has been a member of the advisory board of the National Police Accountability Project since its founding in 1999.

Gespass’ practice includes police misconduct and prisoner rights' litigation, Social Security disability, and personal injury. He is a founding member and past chair of the Birmingham Peace Project and has practiced law in Birmingham since 1978 as a partner in Gespass and Johnson.

For more information on the Martin Luther King lecture’s co-sponsors, visit Birmingham Peace Project at http://www.bhampeaceproject.org/ and the Birmingham Islamic Society at http://www.bisweb.org/.

For more information on the King lecture, contact Jim Baggett, head of the Birmingham Public Library Archives Department at jbaggett@bham.lib.al.us or by phone at 205-226-3631.

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