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College launches yearlong celebration of Civil Rights Act

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

FREDERICK, Md.—A prominent and long serving member of the U.S. Congress will be the keynote speaker at the launch of Hood College's yearlong initiative commemorating of the 50th anniversary of the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, representative for Maryland's 7th congressional district who has dedicated his career to empowering the people he represents, will give a talk entitled "Realizing the Dream," Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. in the College's Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall.

A member of congress since 1996, the Baltimore native is the ranking member of the committee on oversight and government reform, a senior member of the joint economic committee and the House committee on transportation and infrastructure.

Cummings began his public service career in the Maryland House of Delegates, where he served for 13 years. In the Maryland General Assembly, he served as the chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland and was the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tempore, the second highest position in the House.

Cummings attended Howard University, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa honor society and graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science. He earned a juris doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law and practiced law for 19 years. He has been awarded seven honorary doctoral degrees from universities and colleges throughout the nation.

Numerous films, discussions, workshops and lectures by noted public figures will be featured during the yearlong celebration of the landmark legislation, including Wil Haygood, author of The Butler, which was recently made into a film by the same name; and Shirley Sherrod, former U.S. Department of Agriculture official who was forced to resign her position in 2010 after a misleadingly edited clip of her speech was widely circulated.

Fiftieth anniversary events are also sponsored by the Robert D. and Barbara E. Hanson Fund of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities.

For more information, visit civilrights.hood.edu.