Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke and Will Guzman, author of Civil Rights in the Texas Borderlands, will reflect on the life and legacy of physician Lawrence Nixon, a community and civil rights leader in El Paso. In 1923, Nixon challenged the law that banned Black Americans from voting in the Democratic primary. His victory in two subsequent Supreme Court decisions paved the way for dismantling all-white primaries across the South.
Will Guzmán is professor of history at Prairie View A&M University and has taught at the University of Texas–El Paso, Florida A&M, Florida State, Seton Hall and New Jersey City universities. He was director of NJCU's Hagan Africana Studies Center and is author of the award-winning Civil Rights in the Texas Borderlands: Dr. Lawrence A. Nixon and Black Activism (University of Illinois Press, 2015)
Beto O'Rourke is a former member of the El Paso City Council and the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to his public service he helped to found and run a business technology firm in El Paso. He lives there with his wife, Amy, and their three children.