In SummaryA new social justice center named after Ben Crump has been launched at a law school in Florida with the hopes of training new, diverse lawyers.
Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump is partnering with the St. Thomas University College of Law to train the next generation of lawyers fighting injustice.
According to a release, “The Benjamin L. Crump Center for Social Justice at the St. Thomas University College of Law will provide innovative programming, symposia and training to catalyze the next generation of social justice engineers.”
Crump has been a legal pioneer fighting injustice in the Black community. In addition to filing a case against Johnson & Johnson on behalf of Black women, Crump has also worked on cases for victims of police violence and racism, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright and Ahmaud Arbery.
Truist Financial Corporation gave a $1 million leadership grant to the center. The announcement of the center’s launch also came as the College of Law opened a $35 million campaign to support efforts to help students from marginalized communities excel in the legal profession.
“St. Thomas University and its College of Law are honored to house the Benjamin L. Crump Center for Social Justice on our campus,” University President David A. Armstrong said. “The Center will create opportunities for students who might have felt the legal profession was beyond their reach. We will all benefit from the impact they will have.”
The legal profession has remained mostly white and male. According to Reuters, the percentage of Black and Native American attorneys has decreased. Black lawyers dropped from 4.8% to 4.7% in 2021 and Native American lawyers went from 1% to less than half a percent.
“I believe America can be a country that lives up to its ideals, if we work for it,” Crump said. “Lawyers can be the social engineers, using the tools found in the Constitution, to expose the nature and depth of injustices—and to eliminate these injustices through education and advocacy. This center will serve as a pipeline for historically marginalized students to get their law degrees and give back to society, following the legacy of my personal hero, Thurgood Marshall.”
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