Search Begins to Fill the John Lewis Chair at Emory University

Emory University School of Law in Atlanta has announced that John Lewis Chair for Civil Rights and Social Justice has been fully funded through gifts and pledges. The process was begun in 2015 when an anonymous donor contributed $1.5 million toward the chair. An additional $500,000 has been raised to complete the funding.

As a result, the law school is launching a nationwide search to find a scholar to fill the new post. The search committee is looking for a scholar “with an established academic profile of distinction and a demonstrated desire to promote the rule of law through the study of civil rights.”

Robert A. Shapiro, dean of the law school, stated that the new faculty member will focus on “where racial discrimination persists despite legal advances made during the civil rights movement of the last century. Among other questions, the chair will examine issues surrounding the restriction of voting rights, racial dimensions of mass incarceration in the United States and the treatment of undocumented immigrants.”

John Lewis was a keynote speaker at the 1963 March on Washington. As chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lewis was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, on Bloody Sunday in March 1965. He has served his Atlanta district in Congress since 1987.


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