By Patrick Doolin
The Institute for Political Studies hosted its second event of the semester with a lecture on affirmative action by Frank Hill, a civil rights attorney. The IPS theme for the semester is “What inspires a person to take political action?”
Hill was involved in segregation cases during the 1960s and has litigated in front of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Hill’s area of expertise includes general civil litigation, constitutional law, employment law and school law arbitration.
Hill began his lecture by speaking on the importance of the 1954 case Brown v. Board of Education. It was a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional.
Hill said the case’s ruling did not take effect in schools until the 1960s and that it was very difficult to promote change in the Deep South and rid the area of violence against minorities that occurred during the period of desegregation.
“Undoing the residual effects of past governmental discrimination is what affirmative action is all about, then and now,” Hill said.
He described how affirmative action affects the modern- day workplace. Hill also said the Dallas County Community College District was founded on policies free of racial discrimination for its faculty and student body.
Ahad Hayaud-Din, government professor, said Hill was able to share his thoughts in a way the audience could understand.
Hayaud-Din said students could benefit from the lecture in personal ways. “I hope it empowers students to take action and feel confident in advocating issues they feel are important,” he said.
Student Danyeil Townzen attended the lecture for her political science class. “It was extremely informative in regard to the future of affirmative action and how the purpose is changing with the times,” she said.
Dr. Patricia Dodd, English professor, said she thought the lecture was refreshing and informative. “Affirmative action can be a challenging issue with much to consider,” she said.
Hill said his personal thoughts on affirmative action are that it should be in place, carefully tailored and monitored to promote diversity.