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Constance Rice

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Information about Constance Rice

Profile image of Constance Rice

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Chief Executive
Civil Rights Lawyer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Lavender
Favorite Food:
Chinese, Indian, Soul Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
Life Is Short.

Birthplace

Born:
4/5/1956
Birth Location:
Washington, District of Columbia

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Chief Executive
Civil Rights Lawyer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Lavender
Favorite Food:
Chinese, Indian, Soul Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
Life Is Short.

Birthplace

Born:
4/5/1956
Birth Location:
Washington
See how Constance Rice is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Activist lawyer Constance L. Rice was born on April 5, 1956, in Washington, D.C., to Anna L. Barnes Rice, a science teacher, and Phillip Leon Rice, a colonel in the United States Air Force. Growing up abroad, Rice attended the Town and Country School in London and graduated from the Universal City High School in Texas in 1974. Rice received her B.A. degree in government from Harvard University in 1978. In 1980, Rice won a first degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and was awarded the Root Tilden Public Interest Scholarship to New York University School of Law from which she earned her J.D. degree in 1984. Rice served as a law clerk for the State of New York Department of Law in 1982; was mentored by Lani Guinier of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in 1983; and from 1984 to 1986, served as law clerk for the Honorable Damon J. Keith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Detroit, Michigan.

From 1986 to 1987, Rice served as an associate attorney for Morrison and Foster in San Francisco, California. In 1987, Rice served as special assistant to the associate vice chancellor of the University of California at Los Angeles. Rice served as the president of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power from 1990 to 1995. In 1990, Rice joined the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in Los Angeles as western regional counsel; she was involved in the NAACP’s unsuccessful fight against California Proposition 209; the freeing of Black Panther Geronimo Pratt with the assistance of Johnnie Cochran; and the defense of Riverside police officer Rene Rodriguez. In 1998, Rice helped found the firm of English, Munger and Rice with her law partner, Molly Munger. Rice also co-founded and served as co-director of the Advancement Project, a public policy legal action organization. In 1999, Rice launched a coalition lawsuit that won $750 million for new school construction in Los Angeles. Up to the date of her interview, Rice had won $15 billion worth of injunctive relief and damages for multi-racial coalitions of lawyers and clients.

In 2000, Rice was named one of California’s top 10 most influential lawyers by California LawBusiness. In 2003, Rice received an honorary doctorate from Occidental College, and in 2004, was presented the Women Lawyers of Los Angeles Ernestine Stahlhut Award. Rice appeared on The Tavis Smiley Show, Nightline, The Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC’s This Week and dozens of radio and television talk shows.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Constance Rice's interview, session 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Constance Rice lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Constance Rice describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Constance Rice describes her maternal grandfather, Jess Barnes, pt.1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Constance Rice describes her maternal grandfather, Jess Barnes, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Constance Rice describes her mother, Anna Barnes Rice
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Constance Rice describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Constance Rice reflects upon her mixed-race heritage
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Constance Rice reflects upon the impact of slavery on white slave owners
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Constance Rice recalls her paternal family's work ethic
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Constance Rice recalls her paternal family's pride
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Constance Rice describes her father, Phillip Rice, Sr.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Constance Rice describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Constance Rice describes her parents' personalities and her likeness to them
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Constance Rice describes her earliest childhood memory.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Constance Rice remembers moving frequently as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Constance Rice describes her academics at Shaker Heights High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Constance Rice reflects upon the value of education in the African American community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Constance Rice describes dysfunctional poverty
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Constance Rice describes the sights and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Constance Rice explains how she reconciles the ideals of the United States with its horrific past
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Constance Rice describes herself as a young girl
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Constance Rice describes the range of schools she attended as a child
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Constance Rice remembers her favorite teachers in school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Constance Rice reflects upon the impact of the Jewish community on her life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Slating of Constance Rice's interview, session 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Constance Rice remembers applying to colleges
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Constance Rice recalls her aspirations upon entering Radcliffe College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Constance Rice remembers her female role models
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Constance Rice talks about the methods and effectiveness of social movements
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Constance Rice describes the powerful alumni of Harvard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Constance Rice describes her education at Radcliffe College and Harvard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Constance Rice remembers her professors at Radcliffe College and Harvard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Constance Rice remembers learning taekwondo, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Constance Rice remembers learning taekwondo, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Constance Rice remembers working in admissions at Harvard University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Constance Rice remembers learning about slavery from Orlando Patterson at Radcliffe College and Harvard University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Constance Rice describes her education at Radcliffe College and Harvard University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Constance Rice remembers her social life at Radcliffe College and Harvard University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Constance Rice describes her work as a Harvard University admissions officer
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Constance Rice remembers a special application to Harvard University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Constance Rice explains why she wanted to attend law school
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Constance Rice remembers applying to New York University School of Law
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Constance Rice remembers debating Martin L. Kilson, Jr. on affirmative action
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Constance Rice remembers school desegregation in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Constance Rice explains how she succeeded at New York University School of Law, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Constance Rice explains how she succeeded at New York University School of Law, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Constance Rice remembers working for the State of New York attorney general's office
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Constance Rice explains the challenges of civil rights law
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Constance Rice remembers working for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Constance Rice remembers working on death row cases for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Constance Rice describes the Baldus Study on racial disparity in sentencing
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Constance Rice remembers working on the McCleskey v. Kemp, 1987 case
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Constance Rice reflects upon her experience with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund