The Teamsters Labor History Research Center hosted the third annual Celebration of the William Taylor Papers on April 18, 2013. William Taylor (1931-2010) was a civil rights advocate and a pioneer of desegregation. Taylor began his career working for Thurgood Marshall at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, assisting with civil rights cases in the wake of the Supreme Court's landmark 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education. He later led the investigations into racial discrimination that laid the groundwork for the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the 1968 Fair Housing Act. In 2002, Taylor helped draft the No Child Left Behind legislation, working to close the achievement gap in American schools and ensure a quality education for all students. The Taylor papers were donated to Gelman Library’s Special Collections Research Center in 2011 and contain a collection of materials representative of Taylor's lifelong work as a civil rights attorney, politician and advocate for equality.
This year’s celebration featured a panel discussion on “The Struggles to Obtain Diversity in Education.” Speakers at the event included: Cynthia Brown, a former colleague of William Taylor and current Vice President of Education Policy at the Center for American Progress; Elizabeth Lodal, retired principal of Thomas Jefferson High School; and Lindsey Malcom-Piqueux, Assistant Professor of Higher Education Administration, GWU. Professor Michael Feuer, Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, gave a welcoming address and introduced the speakers. The event was sponsored by the Graduate School of Education and Human Development and the Special Collections Research Center.
To learn more about the William L. Taylor papers please see the online research guide to the collection: http://library.gwu.edu/ead/ms2287.xml