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Civil rights, human rights, racial justice law, and advocacy

United Nations & Justin Hansford

Professor Justin Hansford serves as a representative for the United Nations Permanent Forum for People of African Descent which became operational on August 2, 2021 through United Nations General Assembly Resolution 75/314. The Forum is tasked with improving the safety and quality of life and livelihoods of people of African descent, as well as acting as an advisory body to the Human Rights Council. 

Learn about our work with the United Nations...

Professor Crichton stops by the Center

Our work at the Center would not be possible without volunteers who are passionate about human rights, civil rights and justice.  Many thanks to all the faculty, attorneys, staff, students and friends who have helped us to accomplish everything we do. Find out today how you can get involved and contribute to the work. 

Learn how to get involved...

Nse, Charkera & Billi at ISH

Each semester, the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center hosts and co-hosts a myriad of events. Charkera Ervin and others came together this Juneteenth to discuss an array of topics from human rights advocacy to charging genocide at home and abroad. Students and speakers were able to grasp what it takes to have true freedom and to be true advocates for a cause.

Learn more about the events at the Center...

We believe that:

  • Real, lasting social change requires collaboration between law, organizing, and research in service of community-led movements.
  • In order to effectively fight for our people we must think globally and act locally.
  • All communities should be freed from the systemic racism that undermines freedom and equal justice in our country.

Read our Reports

Read our reports including the End of Year Report, The Contradiction of Colorblind COVID-19 Relief, Banning the Caged Bird: Prison Book Censorship Across America, Reparations 2022 Conference Report and other publications

Read the Prison Censorship Report

Classes, Clinics & Student Opportunities

From Critical Race Theory to the Movement Lawyering Clinic to the Justice Initiatives, there are opportunities for students to engage in legal scholarship for social justice. 

Learn more about the Justice Initiative and other student resources

Amicus Briefs

The Center along with students at the Movement Lawyering Clinic filed amicus curiae briefs to the Supreme Court and other judiciaries. We filed on behalf of DeRay McKesson, a BLM protester; Sundiata Acoli, a political prisoner; Marcus Mitchell, a Dakota Pipeline protester; and more. 

Learn more about the Sundiata Acoli Amicus

Join the Movement

Learn about our coalitions and campaigns for social change including the campaign to exonerate Marcus Garvey. 

Learn more about the Justice for Garvey campaign

Fight for Justice

Learn about our legal actions, filings in court, and organizing of legal representation in support of movements. For example, we helped to get the Helping Families Heal Act introduced in Congress, in collaboration with Mike Brown's mother's foundation.

Learn about recently introduced legislation

Human Rights Advocacy

Learn about our local, national, and global advocacy. For example, students in the clinic helped to present an indictment in a people's tribunal marking the 70th Anniversary of We Charge Genocide.  

Learn about We Charge Genocide Tribunal 2021

Civil Rights at the Local & Community Level

Learn about our engagement with local and community efforts towards reparations, environmental justice, ending police violence, abolishing mass incarceration and other social justice issues. 

Learn more about Reparations

Engage with us through events, actions and activities

In order to effectively fight for our people we must think globally and act locally. Our events and activities provide an opportunity to make the connections.

Past events with the the United Nations & People of African Descent

Connect with us on social media

Follow us on Twitter & Subscribe to our YouTube @HU_TMCRC. We are currently seeking volunteers to support our social media presence. If you want to help us get the word out, let us know!

Fill out the contact form - comment "help with social media"

Head, Hands, Heart

We seek to obtain the goal of racial justice by using a human rights framework and a social movement centered approach. We use our heads, our hands, and our hearts to make a difference:

  • HEAD: engaged research when fighting the battle of ideas in the ivory tower;
  • HANDS: movement lawyering when fighting for our rights in the courts, the Congress, and other halls of power; and
  • HEARTS: community organizing when fighting to build power in the communities where our people live out their lives.

With commitments in the ivory tower, courthouse, Congress, and the community, we hope to serve as a connector that bring out the best in both worlds, all in the service of the movement.