The University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law will host attorney Benjamin Crump to deliver the 2023 Breonna Taylor Lecture on Structural Inequality. The event will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, April 6, at the Speed Museum Cinema, 2035 S. Third St.
Crump is one of the country’s most renowned civil rights attorneys who founded his law practice, Ben Crump Law, in Tallahassee, Florida. Crump has represented the families in several well-known cases involving Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, George Floyd, Keenan Anderson, Henrietta Lacks, Tyre Nichols and Breonna Taylor. His firm has also represented individuals affected by the Flint, Michigan water crisis. Crump is President of the National Civil Rights Trial Lawyers Association and previously served as President of the National Bar Association. In 2021, Crump was recognized by Time100 among its most influential people of the year and has received numerous awards for his social justice advocacy.
The Breonna Taylor Lecture on Structural Inequality was established by the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law in 2022 as an annual lecture series and tribute to the life of the Louisville woman who was killed in a police shooting in 2020.
At the lecture, the Brandeis School of Law will also recognize the 2023 recipient of the Darryl T. Owens Community Service Award, Louisville attorney Lonita K. Baker, and the law student recipients of the Breonna Taylor Legacy Fellowship.
The Darryl T. Owens Community Service Award, named in honor of the groundbreaking Kentucky state representative, is presented to individuals who make a lasting impact and contribution to the Louisville community. Recipient Lonita K. Baker is a Louisville native and Brandeis School of Law alumna. Baker serves as the current president of the National Bar Association and associate corporate counsel for Waystar Medical Technologies Inc. Baker previously served as an assistant Jefferson County attorney in the legislative services branch of the civil division and as a supervising prosecutor in the criminal division. Baker began her legal career at the Louisville Metro Public Defender Corp. In 2020, Baker gained national attention for her representation of the family of Breonna Taylor.
The Breonna Taylor Legacy Fellowship was also established in 2022 through a gift endowment from artist Amy Sherald, the 2022 Darryl T. Owens Community Service Award Recipient, 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 participate in social justice work over the summer. This will be the first year the fellowships are awarded.
“The Brandeis School of Law is proud to host Attorney Crump for this year’s Breonna Taylor lecture,” Melanie B. Jacobs, dean of the law school, said. “The tragedy of Breonna Taylor’s death requires us to address injustice in all its forms and work harder to build a more equitable and just society.”
For information on the lecture, visit the Brandeis Law School website here.