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Talk by Olens, Barnes highlights Clayton State constitution celebration

— A talk by two Georgia political heavyweights and a New York Times discussion of voter ID laws will headline activities of Clayton State University’s annual Constitution Week celebration in September.

Attorney General Sam Olens and former governor Roy Barnes will have “A Civil Discussion on Living Constitutionalism” on Sept. 20 at the James M. Baker University Center. Olens, a Republican and former chair of the Cobb County Commission, was elected in 2010. Barnes, a Democrat and also from Cobb County, served as governor from 1999 to 2003. The talk will take place from 12:30 p.m. until 1 p.m.

The New York Times Talk on Sept. 14, co-sponsored by the American Democracy Project, is titled “Voter ID Laws: Preventing Voter Fraud or Suppressing Votes?” The discussion will be facilitated by Clayton State history professor Kay Kemp and will run from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m in the Baker Center. Free lunch and drinks will be provided by The New York Times. The public is invited to attend, but because seating is limited anyone interested should RSVP to Joe Corrado at joecorrado@clayton.edu by Sept. 13 at 3 p.m.

Other activities include a Sept. 19 debate over whether a new constitution is needed and a screening of the award-winning documentary “Please Vote for Me.”

Voter registration will be available each day of the celebration, Monday through Thursday at lunch time on the second floor of the Baker Center. The voter-registration drive will take place along with voting for Clayton State’s student government association and a presidential election straw poll.

Also in conjunction with Clayton State's Constitution Week will be an on-going exhibit on immigration at The National Archives at Atlanta. The exhibit’s centerpiece is “The Lost Mural,” a re-creation by Andrew Sabori of a mural that hung at Ellis Island. The original mural, commissioned by the WPA in 1938 and painted by Edward Laning, was displayed at Ellis Island until the early 1950s, when a storm destroyed most of it. In 2003, Sabori visited Ellis Island to find out more information about the original mural. He subsequently uncovered a photograph of the original and decided to re-create it for exhibit and educational purposes.