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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Karen McGill Lawson

Karen McGill Lawson

Karen McGill Lawson is the executive vice president and Chief Operating Officer of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund.  She served for more than 20 years as the president and CEO of The Education Fund before the leadership of the sister organizations was consolidated under one president in 2010.

Ms. Lawson oversees all of The Education Fund's endeavors including its public education campaigns on important civil rights public policy issues such as education reform and census; its work in improving inter-group relations including its multi leadership project; and its assistance in building the capacity of the civil rights coalition through field and communications outreach and strategic planning.

Ms. Lawson is co-author of "Talking to Our Children About Racism, Prejudice and Diversity," "Building One Nation: A Study of What Is Being Done Today in Schools, Neighbors and the Workplace," and "All Together Now!," a guide to educational activities and resources on diversity for teachers of young children; and a contributing editor of "Voting Rights in America: Continuing the Quest for Full Participation," a collection of essays on voting rights including an essay by Bill Clinton. She is also founder and contributing editor of The Education Fund's "Civil Rights Monitor," an annual publication that tracks the civil rights activities of the federal government.

She has served as an advisor to Family Communications Inc.'s Racism Project, "Different and the Same," the Media Center for Children's "Willoughby's Wonders Project," the Philadelphia Campaign to Promote Inter-group Cooperation, the Ad Council Advisory Committee, the National Fair Housing Alliance's national fair housing media campaign and the Consumer Bankers Association's know your credit score campaign.

Prior to joining The Leadership Conference and The Education Fund, she served as the education monitor for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. During her tenure at the Commission, Ms. Lawson wrote "With All Deliberate Speed 1954 - ??," a review of school desegregation in the U.S., and "Statement on the Fiscal Year 1983 Education Budget," and co-authored several other publications including "Fulfilling the Letter and Spirit of the Law: Desegregation of the Nation's Public Schools, and Civil Rights, A National Interest Not a Special Interest".

Ms. Lawson holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Pennsylvania State University and Notre Dame University, respectively. She is married to Warner Lawson, Jr. who teaches law at Howard University.  She is a proud mother and grandmother.

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