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Ben Crump to kickoff NIU’s Rebuilding Democracy Lecture Series on Sept. 22

September 21, 2021

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, together with the Center for Black Studies, the College of Law and Delta Iota Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. proudly welcome noted civil rights leader and attorney Ben Crump as the next guest in their Rebuilding Democracy Lecture Series at 7 p.m. CST Sept. 22.

The hour-long event, conducted on Zoom, will feature Crump discussing a variety of topics such as rebuilding democracy, civil rights, law and the courts with Deans Robert Brinkmann and Cassandra Hill. A moderated question and answer session will follow.

The program is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required.  Go to to request a link to the event prior to Sept. 22. Event links will be sent out from the [email protected] mailbox one day prior to the event.

Inspired by the legacy of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump has established himself as one of the nation’s foremost lawyers and advocates for social justice.

He has represented the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Nakia Jones, Danny Ray Thomas and Stephon Clark, as well as the residents of Flint, Michigan. Crump also represented the descendants of Henrietta Lacks, whose cells were taken without her permission decades ago and are still being used for medical research today.

His tireless advocacy has led to legislation preventing excessive force and developing implicit bias training and policies. He has been nationally recognized as the 2014 NNPA Newsmaker of the Year, The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers, and Ebony Magazine Power 100 Most Influential African  Americans. In 2016, he was designated as an Honorary Fellow by the University of Pennsylvania College of Law.

Crump is the President of the National Civil Rights Trial Lawyers Association and previously served as President of the National Bar Association. He was the first African-American to chair the Florida State University College of Law Board of Directors and currently serves on the Innocence Project Board of Directors. He is the founder and director of the Benjamin Crump Social Justice Institute.

Among dozens of accomplishments, he has been recognized with the NAACP Thurgood Marshall Award, the SCLC Martin Luther King Servant Leader Award, the American Association for Justice Johnnie Cochran Award, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Eleanor Roosevelt Medallion for Service.

Raised in the small city of Lumberton, North Carolina, by a single mother working as a hotel maid and in a Converse shoe factory, he witnessed the effects of slavery and racism firsthand. A first generation student, Crump earned his undergraduate degree at Florida State University and received his law degree from FSU College of Law.