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Oct. 15: Mr Harry Belafonte on civil rights at the Diversity Summit

A talk by one of the giants of the past half century

When: Saturday 15 October 12:45-1:45 PM

Where: Madame Walker Theatre Center 617 Indiana Avenue, Indianapolis, IN. 46202

October 14 and 15 the Indiana Supreme Court's Commission on Race and Gender Fairness is holding a Diversity Summit 2005 in order "to unite citizens, lawyers, judges and public safety officers, promoting an understanding and awareness that inclusiveness and diversity are valued in the legal profession and emphasizing that fairness and understanding of gender, race, and ethnicity issues are required in the justice system. Topics to be covered include prosecutorial discretion, jury trends, recruiting and retaining minority law enforcement officers, improving diversity in legal education, legal issues in the international community, the business case for diversity, juvenile ethnic gangs, social consciousness issues regarding sexual orientation, and urban vs. rural sentencing." All very worthy, important topics, to learn more go here.

But what makes the Diversity Summit special is the Saturday keynote speaker, Mr. Harry Belafonte. There may be Americans greater than Belafonte, but none are leaping to my mind right now. I'll pass without comment his career as film star, singer, entertainer. It is his work for civil rights in the US and human rights around the world that is most important. Belafonte donated the money for bail releasing Martin Luther King Jr from the Birmingham jail in 1963. He came up with the idea of bringing together musicians in the 1980s for the "We Are the World" series that raised millions of dollars for Ethiopian famine relief. Belafonte's was a leading voice supporting Nelson Mandela during his years of imprisonment. He has even kissed Rosa Parks.

And he is coming to the gorgeous Madame Walker Theatre October 15. What could be better?

Well the answer might be to attend the Indiana Civil Liberties Union conference that same day (October 15), and head over to Madame Walker to hear Belafonte talk, then go back to the ICLU conference. That's possible thanks to the Commission on Race and Gender Fairness, which has very generously invited ICLU Conference attendees to hear Belafonte. The cost and transportation of attending this event is included in the price of the ICLU conference registration.

You can go here to learn more about the Diversity Summit agenda and registration. It will cost $25 only to attend Belafonte's talk, so if you are a student it will be cheaper to register for the ICLU conference alone ($10). No matter how you attend, it should be a buzzworthy experience.

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