News Brief: Grand Opening of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice


The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, founded by Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Jesse Climenko Professor of Law, officially opened on Thursday, September 15, 2005, featuring a program dedicated to the life and accomplishments of Charles Hamilton Houston. The grand opening included such noted speakers as members of Houston’s family, the lawyers who litigated the Brown v. Board of Education case in 1954, and scholars, practitioners, and historians such as Professor Kenneth Mack, John Payton, Professor Mark Tushnet, Professor Genna Rae McNeil, and others. The keynote address, closing the conference, was given by Dr. Cornel West, University Professor of Religion at Princeton University. The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice is a new interdisciplinary research program, housed at Harvard Law School, to explore the myriad of complex issues relating to race and justice. The Institute is named in honor of Charles Hamilton Houston, a visionary lawyer who spearheaded the litigation in Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark case that ended segregation in public schools. Houston, a 1922 Harvard Law graduate and the first African American editor of the Harvard Law Review, also trained Justice Thurgood Marshall and Oliver Hill — pivotal players in the case — when they were students at Howard Law School. The mission of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice (CHHI) is to carry forth the legacy of Charles Hamilton Houston by identifying and defining the civil rights agenda for the coming generation and providing social science research and legal advocacy necessary to recognize and address the most pressing areas of racial inequality. The Institute will focus primarily on civil and criminal law areas, with a special emphasis on issues of voting rights, the future of affirmative action, and the criminal justice system. For more information regarding the Institute, please contact Colin Ovitsky at

Press release from the office of Professor Charles J. Ogletree

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