On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2018, local TV affiliate Fox News 28 interviewed Professor Jason Gillmer about Dr. King’s lasting impact on civil rights and the Law School’s new Center for Civil and Human Rights. Gillmer stated that Dr. King’s lasting impact comes down to his vision of hope. “He imagined what this country could be and I think that’s something that speaks to many of us still today,” Gillmer said. “Keep in mind that the civil rights movement was a movement made of hundreds, thousands of people.”
Reminding viewers that the movement was not one limited to students, community activists, and lawyers like Thurgood Marshall or Spokane’s own Carl Maxey, Gillmer spoke of the diversity of American citizens who were active within the movement. “[I]t was really Dr. King who was able to give a voice to that entire movement,” Gillmer stated. “And he was really special. He had the ability to imagine the best in people. The ability to bring out the best in people. You knew when you listened to him that you wanted to be on his side.”
Gonzaga Law’s new Center for Civil and Human Rights builds on the University’s century-long tradition of educating the whole person for the public good. Gillmer described it as a place where “Students, scholars, and faculty have the opportunity to engage in the fight and keeping up with the fight.” Gillmer is the Center’s Director and holds the Law School’s John J. Hemmingson Chair in Civil Liberties.