Feb. 25, 2016 – NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks will discuss racial profiling next week as the featured speaker of the Yale L. Rosenberg Memorial Lecture at the University of Houston Law Center. Brooks’ talk, “Born Suspect: Tragedies of Racial Profiling,” is scheduled for 6 p.m. March 3 at Krost Hall with a reception to follow.
In 2014, Cornell William Brooks became the 18th chief executive of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization.
Brooks, a lawyer and ordained minister, is a product of Head Start and Yale Law School where he served as a senior editor of the Yale Law Journal. He earned a Bachelor of Arts, with honors, in political science from Jackson State University and a Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology. After law school, he clerked with then-Chief Judge Sam J. Ervin, III, on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. While studying at Boston University as a Martin Luther King Scholar, Brooks was awarded both the Oxnam-Leibman Fellowship for outstanding scholarship and promoting racial harmony, and the Jefferson Fellowship for outstanding scholarship and excellence in preaching.
The Yale L. Rosenberg Memorial Fund was established to recognize and foster excellence at the Law Center. The endowment is used to fund a student writing prize and bring distinguished speakers, such as Brooks, to the Law Center.
Rosenberg was a Law Center professor who taught administrative law, civil procedure, federal jurisdiction, professional responsibility, and Jewish Law. He was the first Law Center professor to receive the Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Houston. He passed away in 2002.
In conjunction with the lecture, the Law Center electronically published Rosenberg’s book, “Comparative American and Talmudic Criminal Law.” Rosenberg and his wife and co-author, professor Irene Merker Rosenberg, collaborated for more than 30 years on many comparative Jewish and American law articles that appeared in leading journals. Irene Rosenberg compiled the articles with an introduction on how to read Jewish law and an additional chapter that provides an overview of the rabbinic legal system.
“The American legal system is now poised to make one of its most important choices -- the selection of a justice of the United States Supreme Court,” Law Center Professor Emerita Laura Oren said. “What would the late Professors Yale M. Rosenberg and Irene Merker Rosenberg have to share with us today about picking a guardian for the Bill of Rights -- that most precious part of our Constitution? Some hints may be found in their masterpiece “Comparative American and Talmudic Criminal Law” in which they explore the evidentiary, procedural, and substantive barriers to imposition of punishment in the rabbinic courts, safeguards that created, in Irene Merker Rosenberg’s words, a ‘supercharged Bill of Rights.’”
“Professor Rosenberg was a strong advocate for justice for all and fighting for the underdog, said Law Center professor Ellen Marrus. “He strongly believed if one person is denied justice it affects us all. He would be pleased to know that someone of Mr. Brooks caliber was discussing the injustices against individuals that occur from racial profiling.”
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About the University of Houston
The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One publc research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 42,700 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.
About the University of Houston Law Center
The University of Houston Law Center is the leading law school in the nation's fourth-largest city. Founded in 1947, it is a top-tier institution awarding Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees. The Law Center is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.