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NAACP Attorney to Present Talk on Voting Rights for

Berks County Bar Association Lecture in Contemporary Legal Issues

 

 

April 21, 2014

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NAACP Attorney Natasha M. Korgaonkar to address voting rights for inaugural Berks County Bar Association Lecture in Contemporary Legal Issues

Reading, Pa. – NAACP attorney Natasha M. Korgaonkar will present the first annual Berks County Bar Association Lecture in Contemporary Legal Issues on Monday, April 28. The lecture, “Confronting Barriers to Voting Rights in the Wake of Shelby County, Ala.,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Albright College’s Memorial Chapel. Presented through a partnership between the College and the bar association, the event is free and open to the public.

An assistant counsel in the Political Participation Group for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), Korgaonkar’s work includes litigation under the Voting Rights Act, National Voter Registration Act, and issues related to prison-based gerrymandering. She has represented African-American voters, and other voters of color, in a number of cases brought under the Voting Rights Act. 

Korgaonkar was on LDF’s Shelby County, Ala. v. Holder litigation team, which worked to defend against a constitutional challenge to a provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that required certain states and counties with a history of voter discrimination to receive federal “pre-clearance” before changing their voting rules. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the formula used to determine which states should be under supervision, ruling that it was based on outdated data. The decision means the pre-clearance provision is dormant, at least for now.

“Korgaonkar and the NAACP’s LDF have been on the frontlines across the country working to protect voting rights, and it will be exciting to have her engage our students and the wider Berks community with her first-hand experiences and opinions,” said Joseph M. Thomas, Ph.D., Albright’s dean of undergraduate studies. “Anyone who pays attention to the news understands that access to the vote remains a foundational issue for our democracy, just as it was 50 years ago when the Civil Rights Act and then the Voting Rights Act were passed.”

Korgaonkar will host an informal discussion at Albright on April 29 for pre-law students and members of the bar association.

“The bar association is pleased to help bring to campus and the community a member of the Shelby County litigation team,” said bar association executive director Donald F. Smith, Jr. “That case was the most important decision announced during the last Supreme Court term. It was also the most important decision on race in the last 20 years. We look forward to hearing her insights.” 

A graduate of Columbia Law School, Korgaonkar holds a bachelor of arts in African-American Studies and history from Brown University, and a master of arts in African-American Studies from Columbia.

The Berks County Bar Association Lecture in Contemporary Legal Issues, to be held annually at Albright College, features prominent law scholars, legal practitioners or jurists discussing topics of interest to Albright students and the community at large. The lecture series is made possible by financial support from the bar association, a nonprofit organization of nearly 650 Berks attorneys that offers its members numerous opportunities for professional development and helps deliver the services of member attorneys to the community. 

 

Founded in 1856, Albright College is a selective, national liberal arts college enrolling 1,700 full-time undergraduates and more than 800 adult learners and graduate students. The College’s flexible interdisciplinary curriculum, strengthened by a close-knit residential learning environment, encourages students to combine majors and disciplines to create individualized academic programs. Close faculty mentorship, numerous experiential learning options, and a diverse, supportive community of scholars and learners help students exceed their own expectations and graduate with a commitment to a lifetime of service and learning. Albright College is located in Reading, Pennsylvania.

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