April 01, 2014, BY Kathryn Kopchik

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Ernest GreenErnest Green, one of nine students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., will give a talk Wednesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. in the Gallery Theatre of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University. Green was the first black student to graduate from Little Rock High School.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is part of the ongoing Griot Institute for Africana Studies series "The Civil Rights Movement: Fifty Years Later." [Note: This talk was rescheduled from February due to winter weather]

Green graduated from Central High School in 1958 following the 1954 US Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education that declared racial segregation illegal. This group of pioneers became known as the Little Rock Nine.

Green received bachelor's and master's degrees from Michigan State University and honorary doctorates from Michigan State University, Tougaloo College and Central State University.

He has served as managing director of public finance for Lehman Brothers' Washington, D.C., office, and as senior investment banker on transactions for such key clients as the City of New York, State of New York, and the City of Chicago. He was appointed chairman of the African Development Foundation by President Clinton, and chairman of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Capital Financing Advisory Board by Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley.

Prior to joining Lehman Brothers, he was president of Ernest Green & Associates, a minority consulting firm that provided technical assistance in marketing, financial management, and economic forecasting. He served as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training during the Carter Administration and as executive director of the Recruitment and Training Program, Inc., an organization that recruits minorities for apprenticeship programs in the building trades.

Green is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Executive Leadership Council, the Legislative Action Committee of the Public Securities Association, and chairs the National Association of Securities Professionals and Africare. A member of Winrock International's board of directors, he also has served on the Board of Directors of the March of Dimes Foundation and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.

The recipient of numerous awards, Green was the youngest recipient of the NAACP's Spingarn Medal, at the age of 17. On Nov. 9, 1999, President Clinton presented the Little Rock Nine with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor the United States gives to civilians, for outstanding bravery during the integration of Little Rock Central High School in 1957.

The Griot Series continues in April with a talk by human rights activist and former Black Panther member Kathleen Cleaver on April 16.

In addition, the Freedom Riders Exhibit may be seen April 16 through May 13 on the main level of the Bertrand Library at Bucknell. The exhibit is sponsored by the Friends of the Ellen Clarke Bertrand Library and the Griot Institute for Africana Studies.

Freedom Riders is a traveling exhibition developed by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in partnership with AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Major funding for the traveling exhibition was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.