Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2009-02-05

NAACP Legal defense attorney Damon Hewitt will present this year's Thurgood Marshall Symposium sponsored by Samford University's Cumberland School of Law Thursday, Feb. 12.

Hewitt, director of the Katrina-Gulf Coast Project for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., will speak at 11 a.m. in Robinson law building. His topic will be "Racial Justice in the Obama Era." The public is invited free of charge.

He is a specialist in racial and social justice issues, including educational access and adequacy, affirmative action, school discipline, juvenile justice indigent defense, fair housing and voting rights. Since 2006, the New Orleans native has coordinated the Legal Defense Fund's post-Hurricane Katrina litigation and advocacy efforts.

Roderick Evans, a second-year law student from Stevenson, is Thurgood Marshall Symposium chair. The symposium is named for the first African-American to serve as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.