CCJI joins with the Syracuse University Black Law Students Association, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and other campus departments to pay tribute to Justice Thurgood Marshall. The program, “The Equal Justice: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Justice Thurgood Marshall,” will be held on Friday, February 25, 2011, from 5:30-8:30 pm, in Grant Auditorium at SU College of Law. The program is free and open to the public.

Justice Thurgood Marshall was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967, where he served in a long and distinguished capacity until 1991. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Justice Marshall was a skillful and passionate advocate for civil rights, principally as Director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He was known as “Mr. Civil Rights” throughout the African American community and in American society broadly for his work in dismantling Jim Crow racial segregationist systems in voting rights, education, criminal law, public accommodations and other areas in American society. As a member of the Supreme Court, Justice Marshall’s jurisprudence recognized the constitutional rights and individual liberties for all people.

There is a stellar group of participants for this program from Syracuse University, and other local and national colleges and universities to explore the depth and breadth of Justice Marshall’s legacy. Our keynote speaker for the program is Professor Sheryll Cashin, of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, in Washington, DC. Professor Cashin was law clerk to Justice Marshall in 1990-91. She teaches Constitutional Law and Race and American Law, among other subjects. She writes about race and inequality in America. Professor Cashin was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama, where her parents were political activists. Her recent book, “The Agitator’s Daughter: A Memoir of Four Generations of One Extraordinary African-American Family” (Public Affairs 2008) traces the arc of American race relations through generations of her family. Her book, “The Failures of Integration” (Public Affairs 2004) was an Editors’ Choice in the New York Times Book Review. Both of Professor Cashin’s books were nominated for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for non-fiction in 2005 and 2009. Professor Cashin will have a book signing in the Grant Auditorium atrium prior to the program at 4:00-5:15 pm.

Other panelists include Prof. Herbert Ruffin, Syracuse University Dept. of African American Studies; Dean Charlotte Johnson, Colgate University; Prof. Craig Jackson, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University; Prof. Jenny Rivera, CUNY School of Law & American University Law School; Prof. Sanjay Chhablani, SU College of Law; Prof. Janis McDonald, SU College of Law; Judge Vanessa Bogan, Syracuse City Court; Larry Pinkney, Author and Community Activist; Prof. Theodore Shaw, Columbia University School of Law; and BLSA President Erica Laster.

We invite the SUCOL community and the Syracuse area community at-large to attend this important event. It will be an excellent opportunity to hear a rich array of scholars and activists commemorate Justice Marshall’s life and legacy.