Civil rights lawyer Sherrilyn Ifill selected as MLK Dream Week keynote speaker


Daily file photo by Seeger Gray

Sherrilyn Ifill, keynote speaker for Northwestern’s 2023 MLK Dream Week, is a distinguished lawyer, author and scholar.

Fiona Roach, Assistant Campus Editor

Civil rights lawyer Sherrilyn Ifill will be the keynote speaker for Northwestern’s 2023 MLK Dream Week, the University announced Friday. 

Ifill will discuss her work as a civil rights lawyer and president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. She will then participate in a moderated conversation with Sheila Bedi, who is a Pritzker School of Law professor and director of the Community Justice and Civil Rights Clinic. 

Previously, Ifill has litigated cases opposing voter suppression and advocated for peaceful protestors. She has also taught at the University of Maryland School of Law for 20 years. Ifill has also received multiple awards and honors, including the Brandeis Medal.

“Professor Ifill is a prolific scholar, impactful educator and a relentless advocate for racial justice,” said Robin R. Means Coleman, vice president and associate provost for diversity and inclusion, in a University news release. “She is one of our country’s most influential leaders regarding national civil rights and equality.”

The keynote address will bring the University’s Dream Week programming to a close, after a week of events commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The free event will take place Jan. 23 at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

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