Hosted by the LBJ Foundation, The Summit on Race in America occurred April 8-10, 2019 at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas.
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In a March 1965 address to a joint session of Congress, President Lyndon Baines Johnson opened one of the most resonant speeches of his presidency with these words: I speak tonight for the dignity of man and the destiny of democracy.
His appeal for voting rights was heard across the nation and he viewed their securement a sacred trust in America's quest towards equal rights for all of its inhabitants. But as LBJ knew, the destiny of democracy is not preordained. It is in the hands of every generation of Americans with a charge to leave it stronger for the next. The salvation of history must be earned in our times.
Today, despite the strides made toward civil rights, racism has flared alarmingly, threatening to compromise our nation's dignity, erode our democracy, and define the next era of our country's evolution. LBJ's words and deeds a half century ago are a clarion call.
It is exactly why we decided to host The Summit on Race in America. While no exploration of the complex issue of race can be definitive or complete, we hope that in bringing together a myriad of voices, The Summit on Race in America promoted a deeper understanding of the challenges our country faces.
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We thank all that made the summit an incredible success. Whether you attended in person, tuned in from afar, or joined in on the conversation online, your contribution was important.
Now, our charge for the future is to continue to address the issue of race in the hopes that we may one day, in President Johnson's words, lay aside irrelevant differences and make our nation whole. We hope you'll join us.
The Summit on Race in America,
hosted by the LBJ Foundation
April 8-10, 2019
LBJ Presidential Library
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