Ifill to focus on ‘unfinished business’ of civil rights for Assembly Series

Distinguished legal scholar, NAACP executive to deliver lecture at noon Sept. 17

If Sherrilyn Ifill’s name sounds familiar, it might be because she was one of the most sought-after legal experts by the national media for her insights following the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown and the civil unrest and police action that followed in its wake in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo.


On Wednesday, Sept. 17, the distinguished legal scholar and president/director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., will visit Washington University in St. Louis for the Assembly Series.

Her talk, “From Brown to Ferguson: The Unfinished Business of Civil Rights” takes place at noon in Anheuser-Busch Hall’s Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom on the Danforth Campus.

The lecture, free and open to the public, is also part of the School of Law Public Interest Law & Policy Speaker Series. Please note that due to an expected large turnout, remote telecast viewing sites will be available inside the building after the room reaches maximum seating capacity.

St. Louisans will get another chance to hear Ifill at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 when she delivers a public talk at the Missouri History Museum. (For details visit mohistory.org.)

Ifill’s original plans for the Assembly Series were to give a lecture illuminating the legacy of the Brown v. Board of Education decision in its 60th anniversary year. But she shifted the topic after the recent events that revealed Ferguson as a microcosmic “Ground Zero” for America’s historic struggle to understand the role race plays in our society.

Ifill has adapted her talk to discuss how the Brown v. Board decision relates to the complicated and intertwined socio-economic issues at the root of the African-American community’s anger and frustration over the death of a teenager by a white policeman. (For more on Ifill’s comments regarding the Ferguson situation, visit PBS NewsHour).

Ifill’s campus visit is co-sponsored by the Departments of Education and of History, both in Arts & Sciences; programs in African & African American Studies, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Urban Studies and American Culture Studies, all in Arts & Sciences; the Clinical Education Program, Black Law Students Association, Women’s Law Caucus, American Constitution Society and Dispute Resolution Society, all in the School of Law; and the Missouri History Museum. This event also received funding support from the Office of the Provost.

For information regarding other Assembly Series events, visit Assembly Series.

For information on the Public Interest Law & Policy Speaker Series events, visit PILPSS.