High-profile cases include Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd
North Carolina Central University (NCCU) will welcome notable civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump as the keynote speaker for the institution’s 141st Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 6, 2023.
The baccalaureate ceremony will be held at 8 a.m. followed by the graduate and professional ceremony at 2 p.m., both in McDougald-McLendon Arena, 700 E. Lawson St.
As founder and principal owner of Ben Crump Law, Crump has established himself as one of the nation's foremost lawyers and advocates for social justice, winning a number of record settlements and verdicts for victims and families that have faced injustice. Referred to as ‘Black America's Attorney General,’ he has worked on some of the most high-profile cases in the U.S., representing the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, the residents of Flint, Michigan, and the family of Henrietta Lacks in a landmark reparations case. In the historic case of Tamara Lanier versus Harvard, Crump's passionate advocacy before the Massachusetts Supreme Court led to them ruling in favor of a Black woman who sued Harvard for the possession of photographs of her enslaved ancestors and the mental duress caused by their use of them.
Crump’s book, published in October 2019, “Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People,” reflects on the landmark cases he has battled, and how discrimination in the courthouse devastates real families and communities. Additionally, during the consequential year after George Floyd was murdered, his work was chronicled by Netflix film crews in the award-winning documentary, "Civil."
Crump has received multiple awards and accolades throughout his career, including being listed among Time100’s Most Influential People of 2021, Ebony Magazine's Power 100 Most Influential African Americans, the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers, as well as being named the 2014 NPA Newsmaker of the Year. Additionally, he is the first practicing Black attorney to have a law school named after him – the Benjamin L. Crump College of Law at St. Thomas University in Miami, Fla.
Dedicated to serving the community, Crump is president of the National Civil Rights Trial Lawyers Association and founder and director of the Benjamin Crump Social Justice Institute, a nonprofit organization focused on creating opportunities that ensure fair and proper administration of laws that safeguard the fundamental rights of all citizens.
He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University (FSU) and law degree from FSU College of Law.
For more information on NCCU’s 141st Commencement Exercises, please visit www.nccu.edu/141commencement.