Read a PDF of our statement here.

Today, Wes Moore, former combat veteran, successful author, and CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, will be sworn in as the 63rd governor of Maryland. Moore becomes the state’s first Black governor and the nation’s third, following in the footsteps of former Virginia governor L. Douglas Wilder and former LDF attorney and Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick. Regarding this historic moment for the state, the nation, and the movement for multi-racial democracy in the United States, Legal Defense Fund (LDF) President and Director-Counsel Janai S. Nelson issued the following statement:

“We congratulate Governor Wes Moore on this important day for Maryland and the nation. As the son of a Jamaican immigrant and an advocate for the rights of low-income people and communities, Governor Moore’s election to Maryland’s highest office — and his choice to begin his administration with an unprecedentedly diverse group of appointees — is a victory for the multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and democratic future that is the lodestar of LDF’s work.

“At this moment in U.S. history, when the rights of so many are under sustained assault by those who wish to undo decades of progress and break America’s founding promise to recognize the equality and liberty of all, Governor Moore’s election is a beacon of progress in the fight for racial justice. We look forward to working with Governor Moore and his administration.”


Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.