As part of New York University’s 5th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week, Professor of Clinical Law Anthony Thompson was presented a 2010 NYU Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award for exemplifying the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. through positive contributions to students and the greater NYU community. The award, given to a handful of student-nominated faculty, includes $2,500 of research funding. Other New York University faculty honored included: Renée Blake of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences; Dana Burde and Robert Teranishi of the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development; and Ellen McGrath of the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Thompson was also asked to present the Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture; his speech was entitled “Who Will You Inspire to Dream?” In it, Thompson urged students not to wait until after law school to begin giving back to their communities, and stressed the need to continue to confront and discuss issues of race and difference. Civil rights, Thompson said, is not an issue confined to a distinct era in American history. Many civil rights issues, like criminal justice and offender reentry, continue to affect communities today. “We as a nation have failed to have a conversation in a real way about race and difference,” Thompson said. “In order to truly provide opportunity for everybody in communities, we have to do that."

Posted on January 22, 2010