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The Kerner Report on Race and Inequality, 50 Years Later

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President Lyndon B. Johnson with some members of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Commission) in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Washington, D.C on July 29 1967. (Marion S. Trikosko\Library of Congress)

Fifty years ago, the Kerner Commission issued its landmark report on the causes of the 1967 race riots in Detroit, Newark and other American cities. Convened by President Johnson and named for its chair, Illinois governor Otto Kerner, the Commission concluded that the nation was “moving toward two societies, one black, one white — separate and unequal.” The report recommended far-reaching government action, including reforming the criminal justice system and eliminating all barriers to jobs, education and housing. We’ll discuss the Kerner Commission’s legacy and impact.

Related Links:

Race & Inequality in America: The Kerner Commission at 50 conference

Kerner Report Executive Summary

The Summer of Rage: Lessons from the Riots in Detroit and Newark 50 Years Ago (KQED’s The Lowdown)


Shaun Donovan, former director, Office of Management and Budget, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Fred Harris, former US Senator from Oklahoma, sole surviving member of the Kerner Commission

john a. powell, director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, professor of Law, African American and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley

Sandra Susan Smith, professor of sociology, UC Berkeley


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