ATLANTA, GA — Two Emory experts, Gabrielle Dudley and Hank Klibanoff, were nominated to serve on the national Civil Rights Cold Case Review Board on June 15.
If confirmed, their new role will require them to examine government records of unpunished, racially motivated murders of Black Americans during the modern civil rights era and make those records easier to access.
Giving his comments after being nominated, Klibanoff called the law establishing the board “significant” partly due to its purpose and partly due to its bipartisan support.
Klibanoff also clarified misperceptions about the jobs of the Civil Rights Cold Case Review Board does. He remarked, “This is not a board to investigate civil rights cold cases. It’s not about putting anybody in jail for any crime. It’s more about getting history right and expediting the general public’s ability to access more records in the government’s possession regarding these cases.”
He then further explained that access to civil rights cold cases has continued to be a challenge for years, even with the enactment of the federal Freedom of Information Act.
Meanwhile, Dudley felt honored for the nomination and explained her current profession would support this new position, saying, “It’s such an honor to be nominated to work on this board. As an instruction archivist, I find ways to bring the past to the present, to bring history closer to students. Establishing this board in light of current times shows that the past truly is the present.”
Dudley and Klibanoff have taught together twice, leading a first-year seminar on writing about race. They also have held classes at the Rose Library where students examined Rose’s collections of journalists who covered civil rights.