More than 1,000 of the nation’s civic and business leaders, journalists, activists, and policy-makers will gather at Harvard Law School this weekend for a four-day conference exploring the progress of racial integration in the United States. Sponsored by the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, a joint program of the Harvard Law School and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Color Lines Conference will consider the current trends in racial integration, how to shape the future, and what public policies and private practices are most promising.

“The torrent of interest, passion and intellectual energy that has washed over the Color Lines Conference over the past year has been both breathtaking and heartening,” said Harvard Law School Professor Christopher Edley Jr., co-director of The Civil Rights Project. “This is, no doubt, in recognition of a racial reality marked by enduring inequalities and new threats to civil rights gains. But although the enormity of our racial challenges, if not all their subtleties, has long been apparent to many, for a generation our willingness collectively to meet those challenges has been less so. If over 1,000 busy, talented, and engaged individuals–researchers and lawyers, students and community leaders–choose to devote their labor day weekend to debate and deliberate the issues of racial integration and justice in America, there are grounds for hopefulness.”

Panel discussions will focus on a broad range of issues including residential segregation, racial factors in health care, and race in education. These panels will include more than 200 speakers drawn from a broad range of academic disciplines and professional sectors. Collectively, these researchers, civic leaders, educators, business people, elected officials, union activists, attorneys, religious leaders and cultural workers will be able to offer an unprecedented consideration of the role of race and ethnicity in American society.

Speakers will include NAACP Chairperson Julian Bond; Antonia Hernandez, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund; and Karen Narasaki of the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium.

Significant new research will also be presented at the conference–this new scholarship can be grouped into four broad categories: culture, history and identity; policy, law and social movements; community, institutions and demography; and barriers and opportunities.

Additional co-sponsors include the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, the Joblessness and Urban Poverty Research Program, the Harvard Immigration Project, and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.

For more information, please visit the Color Lines website at