Two Emory specialists nominated to serve on Civil Rights Chilly Case Assessment Board | Emory College

Two Emory experts have been nominated to the national Civil Rights Cold Case Review Board to examine and more easily create government records of unpunished, racially motivated murders of black Americans during the modern civil rights era (from the mid-1940s to the late 1960s) accessible.

Gabrielle Dudley is a teaching archivist at Emorys Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, where she works with faculties to design courses and assignments for undergraduate and graduate degrees. She also finds opportunities for lecturers to use resources from the Rose Library in their classes, such as the extensive collection on the era of civil rights.

Hank Klibanoff is Professor of English Practice and Creative Writing and Director of the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Klibanoff is also the creator and presenter of Buried Truths, a podcast produced by Atlanta NPR broadcaster WABE and based on the Cold Cases course he teaches. For the first three seasons, Buried Truths won the Peabody, Robert F. Kennedy, and Edward R. Murrow awards, as well as the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award.

Dudley and Klibanoff taught together twice and held a race writing seminar in the first year. They held classes at the Rose Library, where students examined the collections of journalists who dealt with civil rights.

They are two of four candidates for the board announced by President Joe Biden on June 11th. A fifth candidate will be named later, and all five will await Senate approval before starting their work.

Klibanoff calls the body’s establishment law “significant,” partly because of its bipartisan support and partly because of its purpose.

“This is not a body to investigate cold civil rights cases,” he says. “It’s not about putting someone in jail for any crime. It’s more about getting the story right and expediting the public’s ability to access more government-owned records on these cases. ”

Even with the current federal law on freedom of information, access to civil law cases has been a challenge for years, says Klibanoff. “It’s not that people were trying to hide things, they just didn’t always have good documentation of when records were transferred from the FBI to the National Archives.”

According to the law on the establishment of the examination board, all federal authorities are obliged to hand over documents on these cases to the examination board. The board will then go through all the papers to release information on as many as possible. The work involves reviewing thousands of pages of documents.

“It is a great honor to be nominated to this body,” says Dudley. “As a teaching archivist, I find ways to bring the past into the present, to bring history closer to the students. The establishment of this body in the light of today’s times shows that the past is really the present. “

At the same time that Biden was announcing his nominations for the Civil Rights Cold Cases Review Board, he also nominated Emory alumnus Carlton Waterhouse, an international environmental law and justice expert, as assistant land and emergency management administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency . Waterhouse received his PhD in social ethics from Emory’s Laney Graduate School.

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