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University of Iowa News Release

Release: April 4, 2003

This lecture has been cancelled. It will be rescheduled.

Reparations Advocate Ogletree to Deliver Murray Lecture at UI Law School

Charles Ogletree, one of the leaders in the reparations movement to pay African-Americans for the labors of their descendents who were enslaved or legally discriminated against, will deliver the John F. Murray Distinguished Lecture at the UI College of Law.

Ogletree will deliver his speech, "New Strategies in the Reparations Debate," on Friday, April 18 at 1 p.m. in Levitt Auditorium in the Boyd Law Building. Admission is free and open to the public.

A law professor at Harvard University, Ogletree is a leader in the reparations movement that believes financial payments are needed because slavery and discriminatory Jim Crow laws allowed whites to take advantage of black labor for hundreds of years. Reparations advocates say that injustice has created a racial schism that has prevented African-Americans from achieving full equality in American society.

To help blacks come closer to achieving that equality, Ogletree and other attorneys are filing suit against U.S. businesses and corporations that profited from the work of African-Americans in the past but paid them little or no wages. The damages collected will go into a fund that will be used to help poor African-Americans escape the poverty they live in as a result of America's past racial wrongs.

The Murray Lecture series began in 1952 and is the oldest of the lecture series presented by the College of Law. The series was established through gifts to the UI in honor of John F. Murray, a native of Iowa and founder of the American Home Products Co., by his wife, Bessie Dutton Murray. Past speakers in the series include such luminaries as U.S. Supreme Court justices William O. Douglas and Harry Blackmun, Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, Ronald Dworkin, internationally renowned jurisprudence scholar, and Stanley Fish, academic theorist and leading postmodern thinker.

NOTE TO MEDIA: Charles Ogletree will be available for interviews by representatives from the media, or take phone calls before the event. Please call Tom Snee at 319-384-0010 by Friday, April 11 to indicate if you would be interested in an interview, or in arranging a pre-event telephone interview.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,