Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham will headline a conference on voting rights Oct. 13 at the University of Kentucky.
Meacham will present the first Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Lecture for UK's Martin School of Public Policy and Administration. The lecture, which is to be an annual event, honors the late U.S. senator and Kentucky governor. Ford was the principal sponsor of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, sometimes called the "motor voter act."
Meacham, former editor of Newsweek magazine, won the 2009 Pulitzer Price for biography for his book American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. The lecture will focus on current and future developments in voting rights, and it will highlight the conference's evening program in the Recital Hall of the Singletary Center for the Arts.
The conference also will feature Dorothy Butler Gilliam, keynote speaker in an afternoon session. In 1961, Gilliam became the first black female reporter at The Washington Post. She later was a columnist at the Post. Gilliam, who grew up in Louisville, will provide a historical perspective on voting rights.
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The conference, "The Foundation of a Democracy: Voting Rights, Past, Present and Future," will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Enacted at the height of the civil rights movement, the law prohibited racial discrimination in voting.