On January 16, Dr. Joseph H. Silver Sr., past president of Alabama State University, led Cooley Law School’s Community Conversation commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Silver, who is currently president of Silver and Associates, a full-service higher education consulting firm, discussed the meaning of the title of his presentation, “Maintaining the Vision of Freedom, Justice, and Equity,” and looked at reasons why it is difficult for our society to achieve those goals.
During the presentation, Silver tackled various systemic issues in relation to the celebration of Dr. King’s commemoration and challenged attendees to focus on what they can do as individuals.
“All over America, folk engage in the celebration of Martin Luther King Day, and the question I constantly ask myself is, ‘what happens the day after?’ If we truly celebrated what MLK stood for, we would not have the evening news full of mass killings, or young people killing each other. If we truly celebrated MLK day, we would not have abject poverty and the large number of homelessness that we see in this country,” said Silver. “We would not tolerate the white supremacy that we see existing in this country and the rampant voter suppression we see on a daily basis.”
Silver answered a number of questions and responded to comments from those in attendance including, unequal funding for law schools in the state of Alabama, how young people can act using the four pillars (equality, love, justice, and solidarity), and the inability for schools to consider race in college admissions.
“I think you guys are in a great position to address these issues,” said Silver. “You are students of the law, you are law professors, you are community lawyers, and you know the law. So, my challenge is, why not use that knowledge of the law that you have for good. Why don’t we begin to challenge what we know is wrong?”
Silver is the Chair of the Higher Education Committee for the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. and serves as a mentor for the next generations of scholars and leaders in higher education, business, and in the community. He is the author of several publications in political science and higher education and is the immediate past chair of the Governing Council of the African University College of Communication in Ghana, Africa. Silver is also chair of the International Board of Trustees of the Pan-African Heritage World Museum.
About Cooley Law School: Cooley Law School was founded on a mission of equal access to a legal
education and offers admission to a diverse group of qualified applicants across the country. Since the
law school's founding in 1972, Cooley has provided a modern legal education to more than 21,000
graduates, teaching the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real
world. An independent, non-profit law school, accredited by both the American Bar Association and the
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Cooley holds
classes year-round at its Michigan and Florida campuses.