BINGHAMTON, NY – Binghamton University will host a presentation, titled Obama and Beyond: Civil Rights and Social Change in the 21st Century,” by Mary Frances Berry, former chair of the US Commission on Civil Rights, at 5 p.m. Thursday Apr. 19. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Casadesus Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building.

Berry, a recognized expert in civil rights, gender equality, and social justice, is the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her doctorate in history from the University of Michigan and a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. She is the author of ten books, including Power in Words: The Stories behind Barack Obama's Speeches, from the State House to the White House with Josh Gottheimer; And Justice For All: The United States Commission On Civil Rights And the Struggle For Freedom in America; My Face is Black Is True: Callie House and the Struggle for Ex-Slave Reparations; and The Politics of Parenthood: Child Care, Women's Rights.

Berry has had a distinguished career in public service. From 1980 to 2004, she was a member of the US Commission on Civil Rights, and from 1993-2004 served as chair. Between 1977 and 1980, Berry served as the assistant secretary for education in the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW). She has also served as provost of the University of Maryland and chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The presentation is sponsored by the Department of Africana Studies, with support from the President’s Office, the Provost’s Office, the Graduate School, the Harpur College of Arts and Science dean’s office, the Dean of Students’ Office, the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program, the Multicultural Resource Center, and the Departments of History, Economics, Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies, Sociology, Social Work, English and Human Development.

For more information, contact the Africana Studies Department at  607-777-2635 or adayton@binghamton.edu