April 20, 2015
President and Director-Counsel:
“SherrilynIfillis the seventh President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. Ms.Ifillis a long-time member of the LDF family. After graduating law school,Ifillserved first as a fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union and then for five years as an assistant counsel in LDF’s New York office, where she litigated voting rights cases. Among her successful litigation was the078422500landmark Voting Rights Act caseHouston Lawyers’ Association vs. Attorney General of Texas, in which the Supreme Court held that judicial elections are covered by the provisions of section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
In 1993, Ms.Ifilljoined the faculty of the Universityof Maryland School ofLaw, where, in addition to teaching Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law and variety of seminars, she continued to litigate and consult on a broad and diverse range of civil rights cases while grooming the nextgeneration of civil rights lawyers. In addition to teaching in the classroom, Ms.Ifilllaunched several innovative legal offerings while at Maryland Law School, including an environmental justice course in which students represented rural communities in Maryland, and one of the first legal clinics in the nation focused on removing legal barriers to formerly incarcerated persons seeking to responsibly re-enter society. From her base in Baltimore,Ifillemerged as a highly regarded national civil rights strategist and public intellectual whose writings, speeches and media appearances enrich public debate about a range of political and civil rights issues.
A critically acclaimed author, her book “On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century,” reflects her lifelong engagement in and analysis of issues of race and American public life.Ifill’sscholarly writing has focused on the importance of diversity on the bench, and she is currently writing a book about race and Supreme Court confirmation hearings.Ifillis the immediate past Chair of the Board of U.S. Programs at the Open Society Institute, one of the largest philanthropic supporters of civil rights and social justice organizations in the country.Ms.Ifillis a graduate of Vassar College, and received her J.D. from New York University School of Law.”( NAACPLegal Defense Fund)
Change is coming to Ferguson. In the next few weeks the Department of Justice (DOJ) will begin to negotiate in earnest with the city to restructure the police department, which the department has charged with engaging in a pattern and practice of racial discrimination.
Change is coming to Ferguson. In the following couple of weeks the Division of Equity (DOJ) will start to arrange vigorously with the city to rebuild the police office, which the division has accused of taking part in an example and practice of racial segregation.
Now, after a half year of unrest, and with citizens on Tuesday electing two new black city council members, change is beginning to come to Ferguson.In the next few weeks the Department of Justice (DOJ) will begin to negotiate in earnest with the city to restructure the police department, which the department has charged with engaging in a pattern and practice of racial discrimination.It should not be forgotten that the DOJ review of the Ferguson Police Department was precipitated by months of protests and activism following the killing of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer and by revelations about the town’s dysfunctional government and court system by local civil rights law groups.Change is coming to Fergusonthrough illegal traffic stops and arrests, and the use of excessive force, the police department held town residents in bondage.The municipal court system used excessive court fines and fees to ensure that citizens arrested for even minor infractions would be charged thousands of dollars or face jail time.Ferguson residents now have the opportunity to begin a movement for change in the other 89 jurisdictions in St. Louis County plagued by similar governance flaws, including those towns led by African-Americans.And Ferguson’s example should provoke self-examination in working class suburbs across the country, where the power and effectiveness of weak elected local government is inadequate to meet the needs of the population.The report from the Department of Justice offered a devastating insight into a police department and court system that preyed on its own citizens.Three sitting city council members chose not to run for office again and, on Tuesday, citizens elected two black candidates to the city council, changing its racial composition: Five of six members and the mayor were white.Indeed, the DOJ report alludes to the possibility of disbanding the department in favor of a regional policing integration with St. Louis County.But local groups had engaged in vigorous voter registrationand get-out-the-vote campaigns.It’s precisely because Ferguson holds up a mirror to flaws in our democratic system of government in towns across this country that the stakes are so high.But there is an opportunity to begin thinking about even more ambitious structural change in Ferguson and throughout St. Louis County.(Ferguson — Change Is Coming – CNN.com)
Ifill,Sherrilyn. “Ferguson — Change Is Coming – CNN.com.”CNN.Cable News Network, 8 Apr. 2015.Web.20 Apr. 2015.
“NAACP Legal DefenseFund :Defend, Educate, Empower.”SherrilynIfill.N.p.,n.d.Web. 20 Apr. 2015.