04/11/2014 03:33 pm ET Updated Jun 11, 2014

The Civil Rights Act of 1964: Noted Panelists Discuss Then and Now

It has been 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson signed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. Last week, as part of the reopening of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, I moderated three panels of civil rights advocates who reflected on early efforts to pass civil rights legislation, promises fulfilled and progress not yet made.

Panelists included Bernard Lafayette, longtime civil rights activist and Freedom Award honoree; Bill Robinson, former litigator for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Ray Terry, a retired attorney who worked in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice; Barry Goldstein, former director of the Washington, D.C. Office of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Hasan Kwame Jeffries, professor of African American history at Ohio State University and lead scholar for the renovation of the National Civil Rights Museum; and Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund.

In the clip below, Wright Edelman shares her thoughts about today's current social climate juxtaposed to the civil rights movement of the 1960s and, importantly, how she sustains hope.

Be sure to listen to the full conversation on The Tavis Smiley Show from PRI at Tweet me @tavissmiley to let me know your thoughts about the dialogue and how you sustain hope.