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Screening/Discussion of Film on McCollum Case

7 pm Thursday, March 7: Free presentation commemorates 65th Anniversary of C-U's case on religion in schools.

Vashti McCollum in court

Vashti McCollum in court The News-Gazette

Recognizing the 65th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision McCollum v. Board of Education, the award-winning documentary "The Lord is Not on Trial Here Today” will be shown at 7 pm Thursday, March 7, in the auditorium of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications Building, 1205 W. Clark St., Urbana. The documentary, which aired on PBS stations across the country, was produced in partnership with WILL-TV.

Following the free screening, three panelists will discuss the implications of that decision and its relevancy today: Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation; Ken Paulson, a former editor and senior vice president of USA Today, now president and chief executive officer of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University; and Adam Schwartz, senior staff counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.

Journalism professor Jay Rosenstein, the producer, writer and director of the Peabody-winning documentary, will moderate the panel. Rosenstein will be a guest on WILL-AM's Focus on Thursday, March 7, to talk about the separation of church and state.

“The Lord is Not on Trial Here Today” tells the personal story of the late Vashti McCollum, of Champaign, and how her efforts to protect her 10-year-old son led to a landmark First Amendment case, which established the separation of church and state in public schools.

The department of journalism in the College of Media is sponsoring the event.