NCCU School of Law to host Social Justice and Racial Equity Institute Launch Gala, April 15

Posted March 02, 2023, 2:46PM

The North Carolina Central University (NCCU) School of Law announces the Social Justice and Racial Equity Institute (SJREI) gala on April 15, 2023, at the NCCU Student Center, 500 Nelson St. Irving Joyner, legendary civil rights lawyer and NCCU law professor, will serve as the keynote speaker. 

The gala aims to bring together community leaders, social justice advocates and legal experts who are committed to working together in the spirit of social and racial equity.  

Established in 2022, the institute addresses systemic racism and other forms of inequality through interdisciplinary problem solving that researches the legacy of racial injustice and advances a just and prosperous society for all people. Guided by a variety of values, ranging from integrity and collaboration to vested community engagement, it focuses on issues of economic, housing, health, education and criminal justices.

“NCCU School of Law has been educating social justice advocates for over 80 years and most of our graduates accept public service positions, so the initiative aligns with our mission,” said Malik Edwards, interim dean of NCCU’s School of Law. “With all the turmoil occurring throughout the world, we are using our resources to help bring about a world that is more just and less racist. Our Social Justice and Racial Equity Institute will help us to achieve that goal.”

To date, the SJREI has held empowerment series and community impact initiatives, including a commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Southern Conference on Race, which produced the 1942 “Durham Manifesto.” As part of the commemoration, a social justice fair was held along with panel discussions on the history and future of the struggle of racial equity.  

The SJREI will also establish a research center to conduct and sponsor empirical research, draft and publish white papers, and host conferences and workshops on social justice issues. Guided by its research and workshops, the SJREI will work with community partners to engage in social impact initiatives that provide direct assistance to individuals and communities in need.

To learn more about NCCU’s Social Justice and Racial Equity Institute and to purchase tickets for the gala, visit or email [email protected]. Tickets are $25. The deadline to purchase tickets is April 3, 2023. 

About the Speaker

Irving L. Joyner has worked as a professor at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) School of Law since 1982. From 1984 to 1992, he served as the associate dean of NCCU School of Law. He teaches courses in criminal law; criminal procedure; civil rights; and race and the law. As a faculty member, he serves on several law school and university committees. A leading expert on civil rights, race and the law, Joyner was selected as the Charles Hamilton Houston Endowed Chair in 2021. Recently, he was among the 2023 honorees recognized during Black History Month by N.C. Governor Roy Cooper for his critical work in the legal field and justice system. 

Joyner has written three editions of his book, “Criminal Procedure in North Carolina,” which is published by LexisNexis Publishing Company. He regularly prepares annual supplements to that publication. The first edition was published in 1989, the second in 1999 and the third was published in 2006. Additionally, Joyner has written a number of articles and manuscripts for continuing legal education programs. He speaks and lectures regularly at legal education, civil rights, political empowerment and educational advancement programs. Joyner provides legal counsel to political, religious and community organizations and to needy individuals in civil rights and criminal appeals cases. He has served on several state study commissions and agencies and in leadership roles with a variety of community groups and organizations. This service includes a five-year term as the vice chairperson of the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission. He is also a regular legal commentator for local, state and national media primarily in the areas of law, politics, civil rights and racial justice. Along with law professor April Dawson, he co-hosts the highly acclaimed “Legal Eagle Review,” which is dedicated to a discussion of current local and national legal issues and airs each Sunday evening on WNCU 90.7 FM.

In 2004, Joyner was honored as Lawyer of the Year by the George H. White Bar Association, an organization of Black lawyers in Durham County and is a past recipient of the Lawyer of the Year Award by the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers. In 2006, he was honored by NCCU law students as Professor of the Year. Over the years, he has received numerous honors and awards for his work as a professor, a civil rights and criminal law litigator and community and political activist.


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