On Thursday, September 14, 2017, The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) hosted a reception celebrating its Thurgood Marshall Institute and the launch of the Institute’s new website. Launched in 2015, the Institute or “TMI” is LDF’s multidisciplinary research and advocacy center that complements LDF’s traditional litigation strengths with three additional capabilities: social science research, advocacy campaigns, and community organizing. TMI also houses LDF’s historical Archives – a collection of materials chronicling the legal history of the Civil Rights Movement. Through TMI, LDF deepens its partnerships with local communities, policymakers, and academic institutions to advance LDF’s modern version of racial justice.

The Legal Defense Fund’s Thurgood Marshall Institute Open House – September 14th, 2017.

TMI’s Director, James Cadogan: “This moment demands new focus. New rigor. A new willingness to be creative. To reflect deeply and strategize carefully.”

Displays from TMI’s Archives gave attendees direct insight into LDF’s history. Members of TMI’s organizing team were on hand to discuss our policing reform efforts in Baltimore, MD, Ferguson, MO, North Charleston, SC, and New York City. TMI Senior Fellow Richard Rothstein met with guests and signed copies of his latest book, The Color of Law. Chris Oechsli, President of the Atlantic Philanthropies, joined LDF’s President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill in unveiling a gift to the Thurgood Marshall Institute: photos of Nelson Mandela taken by renowned photographer Jürgen Schadeberg. And, perhaps the highlight of the night, was a photography stand where guests could take pictures sitting at Thurgood Marshall’s original desk: the very desk where he sat to work on cases including Chambers v. Florida, Smith v. Allright, and Brown v. Board of Education.

LDF President Sherrilyn Ifill and Atlantic Philanthropies President Chris Oechsli unveil a gift to the Thurgood Marshall Institute: photos of Nelson Mandela taken by renowned photographer Jürgen Schadeberg.

Speaking to attendees, James Cadogan, the inaugural Director of the Thurgood Marshall Institute, said, “As we continue to fight for racial justice, we must also continue to evolve as advocates: experimenting with different approaches; recording and assessing outcomes; and adjusting our strategies as we learn. And in those efforts, TMI’s research and advocacy are—and always will be—inspired by Thurgood Marshall’s entrepreneurial and visionary example.”

TMI Senior Fellow Richard Rothstein signing copies of his book, The Color of Law.

Special thanks to the Atlantic Philanthropies, whose generous support allowed LDF to launch the Institute. For more information visit www.tminstituteldf.org.