Howard Launches civil rights center

Howard University School of Law has been leading the charge for social justice for more than 70 years, with such stalwart alumni as civil rights leaders Spotswood Robinson, Charlotte Ray, Vernon Jordan and Robert Carter 

To formally honor the law school’s legacy, Howard Law announced the establishment of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center this coming fall.  

“Leading the fight for social justice is a core mission at Howard University,” said Howard Law Dean Danielle Holley-Walker. “By formally establishing the civil rights center, we are extending that mission.”

The new civil rights center, which was named after the first African American Supreme Court justice, will have three distinct objectives.  First, the center will continue to engage in litigation that promotes the agenda of social justice. Second, it will extend the law school’s efforts to policy making, focusing on issues such as voter suppression and housing and education reform. Lastly, the center will serve as a think tank, with word-class conferences and an online repository of published articles and think-pieces.

The civil rights center will be staffed entirely by Howard Law students. Students will continue to have access to experiential learning opportunities through the law school’s civil rights clinic, and there will be new opportunities for students to engage in policy work. Howard Law will hire two legal fellows to supervise students working in the center.

To finance the civil rights center, Howard Law will pull funding from an existing endowment fund slated for the school’s work in constitutional law. Additional funding will come from grants, corporate gifts and private donations, Holley-Walker said.

Howard University’s Board of Trustees approved the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center in June. The opening ceremony, which will honor leading civil rights figures and notable alumni, is scheduled for the fall of 2017.

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