MCJ’s Espy and McDuff Selected as Wiley Branton Awardees by National Bar Association

The National Bar Association has announced that two of our very own – MCJ board member, Mike Espy, and MCJ Impact Litigation Initiative Director, Rob McDuff – will be honored with the Wiley Branton Award at the National Bar Association’s upcoming Wiley Branton Symposium 2021.

The theme for this year’s symposium is protecting and expanding voting rights – an issue that lies at the core of MCJ’s mission, and one to which Mike and Rob have dedicated their lives. Mike and Rob will join Congressman Bennie Thompson and attorney Constance Slaughter-Harvey, both former MCJ honorees, as the headliners for this event. This award is bestowed annually upon members of the legal community whose careers embody “a deep and abiding commitment to civil rights and economic justice advocacy.”

The awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, October 14, 2021, at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, MS. You may register to attend both the awards ceremony and the symposium at this link.

The award is named after Wiley Austin Branton, a prominent attorney, noted civil rights activist, and advocate of voting rights for all Americans. In 1958, Branton filed suit against the Little Rock School Board in a case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court as Cooper v. Aaron, effectively ending segregation in the United States. He also served as executive secretary to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Council on Equal Opportunity and was Dean of Howard University Law School from 1978 until his retirement in 1983. Wiley Branton passed away in 1988.

Congratulations to Mike and Rob for all they have done for those we serve. We are lucky to have these two in our MCJ family.