Civil Rights Attorney Known for Advocacy and Social Justice to Inspire Nearly 1,000 Graduates with Uplifting Message
Morgan State University President David K. Wilson announced today that Benjamin Crump, nationally recognized civil rights attorney and advocate for social justice, will be the keynote speaker at Morgan’s 146th Spring Commencement Exercises. Most notably recognized as an outspoken champion for legislation reforms in preventing excessive police force, Crump has represented many families in several high-profile civil rights cases in which the victims were killed or assaulted by police officers. He will deliver remarks to graduates, faculty, University leaders, and guests during the ceremony scheduled to take place at Hughes Memorial Stadium on Saturday, May 20, beginning at 10:00 a.m.
“Mr. Crump’s passion for addressing injustices committed against marginalized communities and his unrelenting work to hold those responsible accountable, is the type of tenacity we hope will inspire our graduates and current students,” said President Wilson. “While academic and professional success is noteworthy, we want our graduates to recognize that in fullness of life, public service and heeding the call of social responsibility is as equally important to an individual’s character.”
Over the years, Crump has used his legal expertise to win groundbreaking verdicts and reach historic settlements in cases involving police brutality, environmental injustice, and civil rights violations. At a time when tensions between law enforcement and communities across America were heightened, he represented the families of Trayvon Martin, a Sanford, Florida teen slain by a neighborhood watch volunteer; and Michael Brown, a young Black male unlawfully killed by a law enforcement officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
Most recently, Crump’s advocacy for social justice has led him to represent the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd whose individual accounts helped shape the Social Justice Movement that swept the nation—and the world—in 2020. The residents of Flint, Michigan who were affected by the poisoned water of Flint River, and the family of Henrietta Lacks in receiving reparations from the vast industries that benefited from using her HeLa cell line illegitimately harvested for medical research. Crump also represented 9 of the 13 Black women who were victims in the Holtzclaw Oklahoma City Police rape case in 2015 and worked with Robbie Tolan on his precedent-setting U.S. Supreme Court case involving excessive police force in 2008. As a staunch advocate against police brutality and civil rights abuse, he has been instrumental in drawing national attention to these cases and leading discussions about reforms and developing implicit bias training and policies.
“I’m thrilled to be delivering the commencement address to the Spring 2023 class at Morgan State University. The students at this great HBCU represent the very best of what we have to offer for the future,” said Mr. Crump. “I look forward to articulating to them ways to make the world a better place for all of God’s children.”
Crump is a graduate of Florida State University and received his law degree from FSU College of Law. He was the first African American to chair the Florida State University College of Law Board of Directors and is director of the Benjamin Crump Social Justice Institute, a nonprofit designed to address the social issues that disproportionately impact our most vulnerable citizens. He is listed among Time Magazine’s “Most Influential People of 2021” and Ebony Magazine’s “Power 100 Most Influential African Americans.” Attorney Crump is the founder and principal owner of Ben Crump Law and is recognized among the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers, and the 2014 NNPA Newsmaker of the Year.
Morgan will host its Graduate School Spring Commencement on Thursday, May 18, and its undergraduate Spring Commencement on May 20. For more information about Morgan’s Spring Commencement Exercises visit the official commencement site online.