(New York, NY) – Sherrilyn Ifill, NAACP Legal Education and Defense Fund, Inc.’s (“LDF”) President and Director-Counsel, delivers her lecture “America Divided: Brown’s Predictive Power & the Urgent Moment for Racial Equality” for the 20th Annual Derrick Bell Lecture on Race in American Society at the New York University School of Law on November 5.


The Annual Derrick Bell Lecture on Race in American Society is a public event that brings Bell’s work and that of other race scholars to wider audiences. Bell’s mission to foster a race-conscious conversations in legal education and the legal profession, and to urge students, lawyers and scholars to progressive action, is celebrated and furthered through the 20-year-old lecture series.

Bell worked as a LDF attorney from 1960 to 1996. During that period, Bell worked to dismantle the vestiges of Jim Crow and school segregation in the south alongside Thurgood Marshall, future federal court judges Robert L. Carter and Constance Baker Motley, Lewis Steel, Jack Greenberg and others. While at LDF, Bell supervised more than 300 school desegregation cases in the South. Upon leaving LDF, he continued his school desegregation work as deputy director of the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. A sought-out leader of the critical race theory movement, he was a professor at Harvard University School of Law and New York University School of Law and wrote the acclaimed books Faces at the Bottom of the Well, Silent Covenants and many others.

Ifill will focus her lecture on the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education and subsequent decisions that impact racial justice is America today. She will also discuss the modern movement for racial equality. Ifill is a 1987 alumna of the New York University School of Law.


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