Roanoke College

Jack Greenberg lecture


Complimentary tickets, available August 16, are required through the Olin Box Office, Monday through Friday 1 - 4 p.m., (540) 375-2333 or online at

The second speaker in the College's Henry H. Fowler Public Policy Lecture Series, "Civil Rights: The legacy & The Promise," will be Jack Greenberg.  As legal counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Greenberg argued, along with Thurgood Marshall, on a number of the historic civil rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.  The historic Brown v. Board of Education  case was one of these.  He will offer his views on "The Meaning of the Brown v. Board of Education  Decision" in his talk.

Greenberg earned his LL.B. from Columbia University.  Greenberg served as assistant counsel from 1949 to 1961 for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund before taking over for Thurgood Marshall as director counsel from 1961 to 1984.  He has since served on the faculty at Columbia University Law School and was the dean of Columbia College from 1989 to 1993.  Throughout his career, Greenberg has remained active in civil rights and human rights causes.

In 2001 Greenberg was among 28 distinguished Americans honored by President Bill Clinton with Presidential Citizens Medals at a White House ceremony.  President Clinton said of Greenberg, “In the courtroom and the classroom, Jack Greenberg has been a crusader for freedom and equality for more than half a century.”  Greenberg has been the recipient of many other awards, including the American Bar Association Thurgood Marshall Award in 1996, and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Howard University in 2004.

Greenberg has remained active as a founder or board member of a number of organizations.  He was a founding member of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund.  Greenberg has served as a board member of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Human Rights Watch and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Greenberg’s publications include Crusaders in the Courts:  Legal Battles of the Civil Rights Movement and Crusaders in the Courts: How a Dedicated Brand of Lawyers Fought for the Civil Rights Revolution.