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Campbell Law School to Host Lecture Series on Eugenics

Legal Scholars, Historians to Explore the History of Timely Issue

Raleigh, NC, February 15, 2012 --( Campbell Law School ( will host a lecture series titled “Eugenics in America – History and Legacy,” throughout February and March. The series, organized by Campbell Law School Professor Kevin P. Lee, a legal scholar with advanced degrees in Christian ethics, religious studies, philosophy and religion, will feature several prominent legal scholars and historians, and offer a thorough and frank exploration of the history of eugenics in the United States. The events come in the wake of a governor’s task force recommendation announced Jan. 10, 2012, that the state of North Carolina pay $50,000 each to survivors who were sterilized under North Carolina's eugenics program between 1929 and 1974. If approved by the General Assembly, North Carolina will be the first state to compensate victims of programs that sterilized tens of thousands of poor, sick and mentally challenged people across the country.

Lectures will be held at the school, located at 225 Hillsborough St., starting at 11:45 a.m. and include the following:

· Wednesday, Feb. 15. – A screening of The Lynchburg Story. The film dissects the early history of eugenics programs in the 1930s and 1940s by focusing on the Lynchburg colony in Virginia, where more than 8,000 children were forcibly sterilized.

· Wednesday, Feb. 22. – Dr. Phillip Thompson, executive director of the Aquinas Center of Theology at Emory University, will discuss the case of Buck v. Bell, which authorized states to engage in eugenics programs. Campbell Law professors Lynn Buzzard, Amy Flanary-Smith and Jon Powell will participate in the panel discussion with Dr. Thompson.

· Wednesday, March 21– A presentation by University of Maryland College of Education Professor Steven Selden, who has written extensively on the history of the American eugenics movement. His most recent book, Inheriting Shame: The Story of Eugenics and Racism in America, received the Gustavus Myers Award for books contributing to anti-racist thought.

· Friday, March 30– A presentation on Skinner v. Oklahoma by University of Wisconsin Law School Burrus-Bascum Professor Victoria F. Nourse. Nourse recently published a much-talked-about book, In Reckless Hands: Skinner v. Oklahoma and the Near-Triumph of Eugenics, in which she examined Oklahoma’s attempt to ameliorate crime by sterilizing repeat offenders. With this case, the Supreme Court ended forced sterilization as a punitive sentence.

The series is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Brandon Yopp, director of communications at Campbell Law School, at (919) 865-5978.

“These lectures explore the brute facts about the eugenics movement in America,” said Campbell Law School Professor Kevin Lee. “They remind us of the dangers to humanity posted by the advances in technology and scientific knowledge. This topic forces us to question how these advances intersect with the intrinsic worth and dignity of all people, and to ask what to make of our own failings and past injustices.”

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About Campbell Law:
Since its founding in 1976, the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. The School has been recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) as having the nation’s top Professionalism Program and by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 3,200 alumni, including 2,200 who reside and work in North Carolina. For 25 years, Campbell Law’s record of success on the North Carolina Bar Exam has been unsurpassed by any other North Carolina law school. In September 2009, Campbell Law relocated to a state-of-the-art building in downtown Raleigh. For more information, visit

Erin Smith
MMI Public Relations
(919) 233-6600

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