In the third of a four-part series on the fight for social justice in Texas, experts examine Texas’s historic role in national judicial decisions affecting the education system as well as ongoing efforts to create equal access to education. Panelists will provide an important voice on legal cases leading up to the Brown v. Board of Education decision and Texas's role in shaping Supreme Court decisions of the era. The conversation will include a discussion the state of educational opportunity today and issues that still linger in our society.
Eric Tang is an Assistant Professor in the African and African Diaspora Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin, a Faculty Fellow for the Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis at UT Austin, and the director of UT's Social Justice Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University. Tang has published numerous essays on race and urban social movements. He is completing a book about refugees and the U.S. urban crisis entitled Unsettled. A former community organizer, Tang has been awarded both journalistic and scholarly prizes for his writings on post-Katrina New Orleans. His current research focuses on the past and present of racial segregation in Austin, Texas.
Norma Cantu currently serves a joint appointment in the Education and Law Schools at UT. For eight years, she served as the Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights in the Clinton Administration, where she oversaw a staff of approximately 850 in implementing governmental policy for civil rights in American education. Prior to her service as the nation's chief civil rights enforcer in the educational arena, Professor Cantú worked for fourteen years as regional counsel and education director of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. In that capacity, she litigated scores of important cases affecting educational funding, disability rights, student disciplinary policies, access to special services for English-language learners, and racially hostile environments. Professor Cantú graduated summa cum laude from the University of Texas-Pan American at the age of 19, taught high school English, and then enrolled at Harvard Law School, where she graduated at the age of 22.
Dr. Leonard N. Moore is currently Associate Vice President of Academic Diversity Initiatives and Professor of History at the University of Texas. After finishing high school with a 15 on the ACT and a 1.6 Grade Point Average, he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in history from Jackson State University in 1993 and then a Ph.D. in 1998 from The Ohio State University at the age of 26. From 1998-2007 he served as a professor and academic administrator at Louisiana State University and he has been at the University of Texas since 2007. In addition to his academic and administrative work Dr. Moore spends a great deal of time helping high-profile athletic programs across the country implement strategic diversity initiatives that help student-athletes excel both in the classroom and on the field. Dr. Moore has worked with some of the finest athletic departments in the country, including: LSU (Gerry DiNardo, Nick Saban and Les Miles), Georgia (Mark Richt), and Texas (Will Muschamp and Mack Brown). He has also worked with schools affliated with the SEC, ACC and Big East conferences.