Feb. 2, 2017
NAACP President Cornell William Brooks to Speak at Catholic University
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) At a time when the NAACP is calling for restoration of the Voting Rights Act, its president and CEO, Cornell William Brooks, will discuss that campaign and its roots in the philosophy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the teaching of the prophets on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law.
The talk by Brooks, a civil rights attorney and fourth-generation ordained minister — titled “The Ballot and the Testament: The Jurisprudence Case for Voting Rights in This Twitter Age of Civil Rights” — starts at 4 p.m. Brooks will speak in the Slowinski Courtroom. A Q&A session and reception will follow
Brooks has directed the NAACP — the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots-based civil rights organization — since 2014. He led the 1,002-mile America’s Journey for Justice, a march from Selma, Ala., to Washington, D.C., that highlighted the issues of voting rights, economic inequality, and racial discrimination. The Nation called the march “the most important protest of the 2016 election.”
His talk, which is sponsored by the University’s Black Law Students Association, celebrates African American History Month.
Brooks describes himself as “an heir” of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. Born in El Paso, Texas, and raised in Georgetown, S.C., he earned a B.A. with honors in political science from Jackson State University; a Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology, where he was a Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar; and a J.D. from Yale Law School. He served as senior editor of the Yale Law Journal and member of the Yale Law and Policy Review.
“My life is the direct product, if you will, of the legacy of the blood, sweat and tears of the NAACP and so today I’m particularly mindful that the NAACP has made America what it is, and certainly made my life possible and we are all grateful heirs of that legacy,” says Brooks.
Prior to joining the NAACP, Brooks served as president and CEO of the Newark-based New Jersey Institute for Social Justice whose legal experts specialize in criminal justice reform, juvenile justice, and conditions of confinement and economic justice.
He served for four years as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice and for eight years as special and senior counsel to the Federal Communications Commission. Brooks, his wife, Janice, and two sons, Cornell, II and Hamilton, are members of Turner Memorial A.M.E. Church.
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