ACLU Press Release

Posted by admin on May 22, 2010 in Other Events, Our Friends, Peace & Justice |

What: ACLU Annual Membership Meeting & Award Presentation
When: Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 2 p.m.
Where: Asheville Friends Meeting House, 227 Edgewood Road
Asheville, NC – Robert G. (Bob) Smith, the long-time executive director of the Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council and a citizen extraordinaire by any measure, will receive the 2010 annual Evan Mahaney Champion of Civil Liberties Award from the Western North Carolina Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union at the chapter’s annual meeting on Sunday, May 23 at 2:00 p.m. In the Friends Meeting House, 227 Edgewood Road, Asheville. The ACLU annual meeting and award presentation is free and open to the public.  This year alone, Smith’s humble but powerful volunteer efforts included his support for two important causes urged by the local chapter of the ACLU – the historical NC Racial Justice Act, signed into law by Governor Perdue last August; and the Civil Liberties Resolution first drafted by the local ACLU chapter that is now being advanced by City Council Member Cecil Bothwell and several other local organizations.  The keynote speaker for this year’s annual meeting of the ACLU of WNC Chapter is Dr. Dan T. Carter, a widely sought speaker, who has lectured throughout the United States and abroad, author of seven works of history, and the winner of many teaching and writing awards. Former President of the Southern Historical Association, Carter has held a half dozen fellowships and visiting appointments including Fulbright professorships in London and Genoa, Italy. He also held Cambridge University’s distinguished chair in American institutions, the Pitt Professorship as well as NEH, ACLS and NHF Fellowships. Kenan University Professor at Emory University, Dr.Carter was appointed the first Educational Foundation Professor of History at the University of South Carolina in the fall of 2000 and became Emeritus Professor in September of 2007.  Dr Carter won the Bancroft Prize for Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South. (1970). In addition to the Bancroft Prize, Scottsboro  received the Saturday Review Anisfield Wolfe Award, the Lillian Smith Award and a special citation from the Mystery Writers of America for the author’s success at combining “high level scholarship and the prose quality of the best mystery writers.” The book became the basis for a major NBC television docudrama in 1977 (Judge Horton and the Scottsboro Boys).  After working as an adviser on a number of television documentaries, he joined three-time Emmy winner Paul Stekler as chief historical adviser and principle on-camera commentator for George Wallace: “Settin’ the Woods on Fire,” a three hour biographical documentary on Alabama governor George Wallace and his impact on American politics. The film, based on Carter’s book, The Politics of Rage, aired in the spring of 2000 on PBS’s series, “The American Experience” and was nominated for three Emmys. Carter and Stekler received an Emmy from the American Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for their historical research on the Wallace film.  In addition to his involvement with documentaries, Carter is often called upon by the news media for his observations on American politics and history and he has been interviewed on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” as well as “All Things Considered,” “Morning Edition” and “Weekend Edition;” “The News Hour With Jim Lehrer,” ABC’s “Nightline,” and Terry Gross’s “Fresh Air.” In late 2005, he was a featured interviewee on Bill Moyer’s “Now.” Carter is currently at work on several projects, including what he calls a “meditation on American political culture” as seen through the life of Asa Carter, a violent Klansman of the 1950s and 1960s who created a new identity as “Forrest” Carter in 1972 and became a successful novelist, writing such best selling books as The Outlaw Josey Wales, Watch for Me on the Mountain and The Education of Little Tree.  A short business session will be held at which the ACLU members present will vote on proposed new members of the WNC chapter board: Julie Mayfield of Asheville and Connie Nash of Brevard. Refreshments will be served and the meeting is free and open to the public….

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