Omavi Shukur is an Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Prior to joining LDF, Omavi represented wrongfully convicted people and victims of police brutality at a national law firm. Omavi began his legal career as an attorney at the Orleans Public Defenders, where he primarily represented indigent people accused of felony offenses. He then moved back to his native Arkansas and joined John W. Walker, P.A., where he represented Black school children challenging the Little Rock School District’s racially discriminatory allocation of top-end educational facilities and high-quality educational resources.
Omavi has successfully tried cases before juries in various state and federal courts. In addition, his successful appellate litigation has resulted in published decisions by the Louisiana Supreme Court and the Arkansas Supreme Court.
While in Little Rock, Omavi founded Seeds of Liberation, a non-profit organization that works alongside Arkansas’s marginalized communities to help create a more just, equitable and empowering criminal justice system. In this capacity, Omavi worked with a group of formerly incarcerated Arkansans to successfully bring an end to the ban on people with felony drug convictions receiving food stamps and welfare benefits in Arkansas.
Omavi has previously taught Critical Race Theory as an adjunct professor at the William H. Bowen School of Law and trial advocacy as an instructor at the Harvard Law School Trial Advocacy Workshop.
Omavi received his J.D. from Harvard Law School and his B.A. in Political Science from Columbia University. He is a member of both the Arkansas and Louisiana State Bars.