The Heman Sweatt Symposium on Civil Rights is an annual event organized by students, faculty and staff at The University of Texas at Austin. The symposium is named after Heman Marion Sweatt, the first African American admitted into the UT School of Law after the Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case of Sweatt v. Painter in 1950.
The Precursors 60th Anniversary Celebration
September 8-11, 2016 – Various locations on campus
The University of Texas at Austin celebrated the 60th anniversary of the first African American undergraduates to enter UT Austin. More than 1,000 attended the public celebration held September 9 in the LBJ Auditorium, “Facing the Winds of Change with Dignity, Courage and Wisdom.”
DDCE 10th Anniversary Lecture Series: Affirmative Action
March 22, 4:30 p.m. – LBJ School of Public Affairs, Bass Lecture Hall
In conjunction with his Spring 2017 law class, Race and the Law: Exploring the Law through Critical Race Theory and Other Lenses, Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement, will discuss affirmative action and why it remains relevant. Please RSVP by March 20, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 12, 4:30 p.m. – School of Law, Francis Auditorium (TNH 2.114)
In conjunction with his Spring 2017 law class, Race and the Law: Exploring the Law through Critical Race Theory and Other Lenses, Dr. Gregory Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement, will discuss freedom of speech. Please RSVP by April 10 by emailing email@example.com.
Evening of Honors and DDCE 10th Anniversary Celebration
May 11, 7 – 10 p.m. – DKR Texas Memorial Stadium, 2139 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin, TX 78712
Join us for this annual black tie celebration where we recognize outstanding members of the UT Austin community who have made a difference in the areas of civil rights and/or social justice with the Heman Marion Sweatt Legacy Award. More information about this event to come!
Heman Marion Sweatt applied for admission to The University of Texas Law School in 1946, but was denied admission on the basis of race. Mr. Sweatt, with the help and assistance of the NAACP, brought legal action against the university. In the landmark case, Sweatt v. Painter, The United States Supreme Court ruled that separate law school facilities could not provide a legal education equal to that available at The University of Texas Law School, one of the nation’s ranking law schools.
The Supreme Court ruling established an important precedent for the desegregation of graduate and professional schools. Challenging the “separate but equal” doctrine, the court affirmed Mr. Sweatt’s right to equal educational opportunity and in 1950, he entered the University of Texas School of Law. The Sweatt decision helped pave the way for African-Americans’ admission to formerly segregated colleges and universities across the nation, and led to the overturn of segregation by law in all levels of public education in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education four years later.
The Heman Sweatt Symposium on Civil Rights is an event organized by the students, faculty, and staff working on the Heman Sweatt Symposium Steering Committee. Annually held during the spring semester, all events are free and open to the public. The symposium is named after Heman Sweatt, the first African American admitted into the UT Law School.
Read more about Heman Sweatt’s life on the Texas State Historical Association’s website.