April 10 lecture features civil rights speaker, community service award presentation & fellowship announcement

April 10 lecture features civil rights speaker, community service award presentation & fellowship announcement

The third annual Breonna Taylor Lecture in Structural Inequality will feature the leader of a longtime lawyers’ civil rights group, the posthumous presentation of a community service award and the announcement of three law student fellows who plan to work in the area of social justice over the summer.

Established by the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law in 2022, the annual lecture series is a tribute to the life of the Louisville woman who was killed in a police shooting in 2020. The event will begin at 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 10, at the Speed Art Museum, 2035 S. Third St. Admission is free but RSVPs are requested at the website.

Damon Hewitt, president/executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, will deliver the 2024 lecture, addressing “Democracy Forward: Advocacy, Empowerment, and Inclusion.” The Lawyers’ Committee was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the nation’s leading lawyers as agents for change in the Civil Rights Movement.

The law school also will present the 2024 Darryl T. Owens Community Service Award posthumously to Louisville lawyer and judge J. Michael Brown who died on Jan. 12. Brown was a longtime public servant who was a district court judge, assistant to the Kentucky attorney general and executive secretary to the Cabinet of Gov. Andy Beshear. Brown’s wife Joan will accept the award, named in honor of the late Kentucky state representative Darryl Owens and presented to individuals who make a lasting impact and contribution to the Louisville community. 

The 2024 class of Breonna Taylor Legacy Fellows also will be presented. The fellowship was established in 2022 through a gift endowment from artist Amy Sherald, who painted Taylor’s portrait featured on the cover of the September 2020 issue of Vanity Fair magazine. Proceeds from the sale of the portrait fund the fellowship which is presented annually to three law students who will participate in social justice work over the summer. Brandeis Law School second-year students McKenley Butler, Alexis Cammack and Chearlise Stoudemire have been selected for the 2024 fellowship.

Live Stream the event here.