President Obama Recognizes 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee

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[Civil Rights]

The White House announced that President Obama will commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law with a reception to be held today in the East Room.

Lawyers’ Committee founding members, board members and current leadership will join the President, civil rights leaders, members of Congress and the Obama administration, as well as other distinguished guests for this special occasion. In recognition of the White House announcement, the Lawyers’ Committee has issued the following statement:

“We are honored and privileged that President Obama has chosen to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law at the White House – the very site of the founding of the Lawyers’ Committee five decades ago. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy issued a national call to action for lawyers to provide pro bono legal services and resources to address the racial discrimination that plagued our country. 

The Lawyers' Committee remains steadfast in its mission to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law for all Americans. The Lawyers’ Committee's mission is to use the skills and resources of the bar to obtain equal opportunity for minorities by addressing factors that contribute to racial justice and economic opportunity.

As we celebrate this momentous occasion and acknowledge that much progress has been made, we must also recognize that the role and mission of the Lawyers’ Committee remains as vital and as pertinent today as it did 50 years ago. During the 2012 election, the Lawyers’ Committee worked hand-in-hand with the Department of Justice to prevent suppressive voting laws from going into effect in Texas, South Carolina and Florida.

The last term of the Supreme Court, with the rulings on affirmative action in the Fisher v. University of Texas case and voting rights in the Shelby v. Holder case, served as a stark reminder that the job of the Lawyers’ Committee and its affiliates nationwide is far from done. Most recently, the Trayvon Martin case exemplifies the need still to address institutional racism in our criminal justice system.

As we honor the legacy of President Kennedy and this important milestone, we wish to thank President Obama for his continued leadership in efforts to achieve inclusion, racial justice and equal opportunity for all Americans. We look forward to continuing the mission of the Lawyers’ Committee in combating racial discrimination as long as it continues to exist.”

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. We are celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2013 as we continue our quest of “Moving America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and fair lending; community development; employment; voting; education and environmental justice.


Stacie B. Royster is Director of Communications and External Affairs

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

For more information about the Lawyers’ Committee, visit



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