President of Southern Poverty Law Center to speak Sept. 8 at Wayne Law

Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, will offer a free lecture from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8, at Wayne State University Law School.

His presentation, "The State of Hate and Extremism in America and the Work of the Southern Poverty Law Center," will take place in the Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium at the law school, 471 W. Palmer St. The free event is sponsored by the Dean's Office, and lunch will be provided. Parking will be available for $7 (credit or debit cards only) in Structure No. 1 across West Palmer Street from the law school.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, founded in 1971, is dedicated to fighting hate, teaching tolerance and seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society.

Cohen has been involved in a wide variety of civil rights litigation, including cases seeking equal access to educational opportunities, lawsuits against neo-Nazi organizations and cases on behalf of the LBGTQ community. He has appeared in the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as in state courts across the nation, and has testified before Congress.

In addition to his work as a lawyer, Cohen oversees a project that monitors extremist activity, as well as educational initiatives. He also serves as the executive producer for the center's documentary films on civil rights; four of them have garnered Academy Award nominations and two have won Oscars.

A Virginia native, Cohen earned his undergraduate degree from Columbia University and his law degree from the University of Virginia. In 1997, he was named by American Lawyer magazine as one of 45 "young lawyers outside the private sector whose vision and commitment are changing lives." In 1999, he was a finalist for the Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year Award. In 2007, he received the National Juvenile Defender Center's highest honor.

Published: Tue, Sep 02, 2014

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