Dr. King’s letter: 53 years later

January 6, 2016
Paul Bernard

Jonathan R. Cohen, professor of Law and Associate Director of the Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Levin College of Law will present “MLK, Jr.’s ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’: Lessons for Social Justice Advocacy” Jan. 14 from 3 to 4:15 p.m. in Holland Hall, Room 285C.

In 1963, while imprisoned in Birmingham, Alabama for his participation in nonviolent protests against segregation, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote a response to an open letter from eight white religious leaders of the South criticizing King’s action and positioning him as an agitator. To this day, his 7,000-word letter, also known as “Letter from Birmingham City Jail,” remains one of the most highly regarded essays in history to address civil rights.

Cohen received his A.B. (summa cum laude), J.D., and Ph.D. (economics) from Harvard University. Prior to teaching at the University of Florida, he clerked for the Honorable Benjamin Kaplan of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, practiced employment litigation at a private law firm and served as a Hewlett Fellow at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. The central theme of Cohen’s research is ethical human relations, and his writings, especially concerning apology, have been influential both nationally and internationally in promoting legislative reforms and changes to legal practice. 

This event is sponsored by UF Law’s Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations. For more information, please contact Anju Kaduvettoor Davidson at davidson@law.ufl.edu or 352-273-0614.

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