Archer Receives NAACP Foot Soldier Award

Deborah Archer
Prof. Deborah Archer

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has honored Professor of Clinical Law Deborah Archer with the NAACP’s Foot Soldier in the Sands Award for outstanding pro bono contributions. The award recognizes work that Archer and her Civil Rights Clinic have done in coordination with the NAACP on racial justice projects around the country.

“I’m so honored to receive this award,” says Archer. “Of course, it matters greatly because it is from the NAACP, an organization that I respect so deeply and that has led the cause of racial justice for over a century. And just as profoundly, I am moved because it celebrates the work of the students in the Civil Rights Clinic. These students have worked so hard, and learned so much. I am inspired by them every day.”

A leading expert in civil rights, civil liberties, and racial justice, Archer serves as co-faculty director of the Law School’s Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law and co-director of the Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program, in addition to teaching the Civil Rights Clinic. She was elected president of the American Civil Liberties Union in 2021.

Archer and her clinic students have contributed legal expertise to the NAACP on a number of issues including redistricting litigation, criminal justice reform, and combatting racial discrimination in housing and transportation policy. Recently, Archer and her students worked with the NAACP to challenge Tampa’s Crime-Free Multi Housing Program, which was disproportionately targeting people of color. In December 2021, Tampa discontinued the program.

“Professor Archer and her clinic have fought for the NAACP at all levels, around the country, and on nearly every pressing legal issue we face today,” says NAACP General Counsel Janette McCarthy Louard, who nominated Archer for the Foot Soldier in the Sands Award. “We are fortunate that Professor Archer and her formidable students have been so willing to provide their sound counsel and tireless support. We award the Foot Soldier in the Sands Award to lawyers who have jumped into the fray on behalf of the NAACP and in support of our national efforts. I cannot imagine a more deserving winner this year than Professor Archer and her clinic.”

Posted on August 19, 2022