Vangela M. Wade - President and CEO

📞 (769) 230-2833

Attorney Vangela M. Wade is President and CEO of the Mississippi Center for Justice (MCJ), leading a team of attorneys and professionals committed to advancing racial, economic, and social justice. Attorney Wade joined the MCJ board of directors in 2016, eventually serving as board chair.  She assumed the role of President and CEO in January 2020. She was immediately faced with guiding the organization through a global pandemic that magnified the needs of the communities MCJ served. Since taking the helm, Wade has put her signature leadership style to work, growing the budget, doubling the revenue raised at annual fundraising events, and enlarging MCJ’s social justice brand across the United States and Internationally.

Before leading MCJ, Wade established her own practice, The Wade Law Firm, after building a distinguished legal career that included service as a law clerk with the Mississippi Court of Appeals, a special prosecutor for the Madison/Rankin County District Attorney’s Office, a corporate defense attorney with local and national employment law firms, and an adjunct law professor at the University of Mississippi School of Law. She has also been a consultant, providing cross-cultural training in diversity management and fair employment practices for corporations and nonprofits.

Wade has received numerous honors throughout her career, including an appointment to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s Planning Committee for Empowering Justice 40 Communities; Nonprofit HR 2024 Social Impact Women to Watch Award, Magnolia Bar Association Legal Services Award; Metro Jackson Black Women Lawyers Association Attorney of the Year; Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Edwin D. Wolf Award; and National Bar Association’s Women Lawyers Division 50th Anniversary Impact Award.

In 2021, the Black Voices for Black Justice Fund, an organization that fights systemic racism by supporting outstanding Black leaders, chose Wade as one of 19 national Black Voices for Black Justice honorees. The recognition came with a $50,000 honorarium, which Wade donated to MCJ.

Also, in 2021, the International Women’s Forum (IWF), a network of high-achieving women from 33 countries, invited Wade to join. IWF Hall of Fame members include Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Maya Angelou, Coretta Scott King, and women in leadership positions in business, government, civil rights, and the arts worldwide.

She served on the Board of Directors of Mississippi Today, a Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit newsroom, from 2020-2023 and continues to serve as a member of its Advisory Board.  Attorney Wade’s dedication to fighting Mississippi’s culture of injustice is rooted in her experience and education. Wade earned her BA from Mississippi State University in 1984 and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1996. With nearly 30 years of experience in Mississippi Law, Attorney Wade is committed to seeking systemic solutions to ensure equity in the lives of all Mississippians.