D.C Bar Names UDC’s John Brittain as 2024 Thurgood Marshall Award Winner

John Brittain. Photo: UDC

John Brittain, a University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law professor, has been awarded the 2024 Thurgood Marshall Award by the D.C. Bar for his lifelong commitment to advancing civil rights. The award recognizes Brittain’s work in litigating important cases across the United States on race equity in public schools and higher education and for mentoring generations of civil rights advocates. Brittain will be honored at the Bar’s annual Celebration of Leadership on June 20. 

Brittain has worked on several U.S. Supreme Court cases relating to civil rights in higher education, including Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, both decided in 2007. Brittain has written extensively about civil rights and human rights issues, particularly about education law.

In an interview with Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, Brittain said, “It’s time now to court voting [rights] the most because voting is power. In this era of the 2020s, we are going backwards. There’s an attack on all fundamental civil rights. It’s like pre-1950 before we went into the civil rights movement.” 

Brittain has been a practicing attorney for nearly 55 years and has represented clients in several landmark civil rights cases. He is currently on sabbatical writing a book and his memoir.

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