University of Southern Indiana

Berger Lecture

Every year the College of Liberal Arts remembers and honors Sydney Berger, one of Evansville's most respected attorneys, with a guest lecturer on the theme of civil rights or civil liberties.

In addition to working with local labor and civil rights organizations, Berger was an adjunct professor of constitutional law at the University of Southern Indiana for almost 20 years. When he died in 1988, the editor of the Evansville Courier noted that no one in Evansville had done as much for the little guy, the poor, the underprivileged, the neglected, or those deprived of their civil rights.


Previous Lecture

Electoral Justice Meets Democracy: Challenging Racism and Systemic Barriers through Research and Practice

Presented by Dr. Gena McClendon

October 2020

Dr. Gena McClendonMcClendon’s program development and policy advocacy work focuses on issues related to voter suppression and civic participation of low- and moderate-income households and marginalized populations. Her research focuses on identifying and advancing practice and policy strategies that support an inclusive democracy and the professional training of social work students. Other interest areas are the racial wealth gap and coalition development.

McClendon is director of the Voter Access and Engagement and the Financial Capability and Asset Building initiatives at the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Her work primarily involves policy research analysis and consultation with community-based programs, academic institutions, state and federal policymakers and advocacy groups.

McClendon earned a PhD in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi. She received her Master of Management and Leadership from Fontbonne University in St. Louis and Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

The Berger Lecture is presented each year by the USI College of Liberal Arts in honor of Sydney Berger, one of Evansville's most respected attorneys who worked with local civil rights organizations and served as an instructor at USI for nearly two decades. Each year, a guest lecturer presents on the theme of civil rights or civil liberties, celebrating the values Berger cherished.


View a list of past Berger Lectures >>

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