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Pomona College Dedicates New Draper Center for Community Partnerships

On October 8, Pomona College will dedicate the new Draper Center for Community Partnerships, with a talk by John Payton ’73, president and director-counsel of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense and Education Fund (NAACP LDF), on the topic “Community as a Key to Democracy.” The dedication program will begin at 7:30 p.m. and be held in the Smith Campus Center’s Rose Hills Theater (170 E. Sixth St, Claremont).

Payton, widely considered to be one of the nation’s leading civil rights attorneys, became president and director-counsel of the NAACP LDF in 2008. Prior to the appointment, he was a partner in the firm of WilmerHale, which he joined in 1978. His distinguished career includes arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in Richmond v. Croson and the University of Michigan admissions cases in 2004 and serving as the Corporation Counsel of the District of Columbia, from 1991 to 1994. A long-time activist, he has served in leadership roles in the National Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, the District of Columbia Bar Association, and the Free South Africa movement.

At Pomona College, the Draper Center will lead a new initiative to foster mutually beneficial exchanges between community members, students, faculty and staff. This includes supporting the College’s current range of outreach programs as well as creating new educational outreach initiatives, community-based research and learning opportunities, and additional community engagement activities.

Current Draper Center programs include the Pomona College Academy for Youth Success (PAYS); Pomona Partners, now in its 15th year, in which Pomona College students work with Fremont Middle School students to increase college awareness and enhance self and community awareness; Theater for Young Audiences, a partnership between the Draper Center, Fremont, and the College’s Department of Theatre and Dance; and Alternabreak, a program that provides community volunteer opportunities for Pomona College students during spring break.

For more information on how to volunteer or participate in programs of the Draper Center for Community Partnerships, call (909) 607-1810.