The NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) on Monday announced the initiation of The Marshall-Motley Scholars Program (MMSP), which aims to educate and train individuals to become civil rights attorneys that will serve the needs of southern Black communities. The MMSP is searching for “brilliant minds who are dedicated to pursuing racial justice in the South, and for whom this work is a personal and professional calling.” In exchange for a commitment from the individual to practice civil rights law in the southern US for at least eight years, the MMSP will provide a full law school scholarship, a two-year postgraduate fellowship at a civil rights organization in the south, and access to training sponsored by LDF and the National Academy of Sciences. Applications are being accepted until February 16.
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization that strives to achieve racial justice on multiple fronts. The MMSP scholarship, made possible by an anonymous donor who committed to a $40 million investment, was named for Thurgood Marshall, the country’s first Black Supreme Court Justice, and Constance Baker Motley, the first Black woman to become a federal judge.
LDF President Sherrilyn Ifill stated:
The majority of Black people in this country still live in the South and continuously face impediments to voting, education equity, and racial and economic justice. For this reason, LDF’s docket and litigation practice has always been rooted principally in the South….With the MMSP, and the opening of our new regional office in Atlanta, LDF is deepening its longstanding presence in the South to help leverage the talent, passion, and commitment of a new cohort of civil rights attorneys dedicated to serving the majority of Black people in the country.