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August 26, 2013

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee and the city's Human Rights Commission honored USF Diversity Scholar Clarence B. Jones at an Aug. 20 event co-sponsored by USF School of Law, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Dr. Clarence Jones with USF 1Ls.

In his welcoming remarks, Dean John Trasviña said, “We stand before you, and you will take your steps forward in a better place than our mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, because of the courage and tenacity displayed on August 28, 1963. But the reverence for the past must not equate with passivity today or in the future. Our journey continues.”

Lee presented Jones with a plaque in honor of his participation in August 28, 1963, civil rights march, and the San Francisco Human Rights Commission presented him with its “Hero” award for a lifetime spent fighting for human rights. 

Jones, a close confidant, legal counsel, and speechwriter to Martin Luther King Jr., wrote part of King's famous “I Have a Dream” speech and smuggled out the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” He accepted the awards on behalf of the civil rights leaders who gave their lives for the cause. 

Earlier in the day, Jones was interviewed by national news outlets ABC News and the Wall Street Journal. He teaches two courses at USF, From Slavery to Obama and The Art of Advocacy Speech Writing.