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Patricia J. Williams

Lawyer Patricia Joyce Williams was born on August 28, 1951 in Boston, Massachusetts to Isaiah Williams and Ruth Williams. After graduating from Girls’ Latin School in 1969, Williams received her B.A. degree from Wellesley College in 1972. She went on to receive her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1975.

From 1975 to 1978, Williams served as deputy city attorney in the Los Angeles Office of the City Attorney, where she focused on consumer protection. She joined the Western Center on Law and Poverty as a staff attorney in 1978. In 1980, she moved to Golden Gate University School of Law, where she worked as an assistant professor for four years before joining City University of New York Law School as an associate professor. From 1988 to 1993, Williams worked as a professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School. During this time, she served as a visiting professor at Stanford Law School, Duke Law School, and Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Williams joined the faculty at Columbia Law School in 1991 and taught contracts, consumer protection, and theories of equality. In 2019, she left Columbia Law School to serve a joint appointment at Northeastern University in the School of Law and the Department of Philosophy and Religion. Williams has written multiple books, including The Alchemy of Race and Rights: Diary of a Law Professor, The Rooster’s Egg: On the Persistence of Prejudice, and Seeing a Color-Blind Future: The Paradox of Race. Her scholarship has contributed to the development of critical legal studies and critical race theory.

Williams served on the board of advisors at the Center for Constitutional Rights, Society of American Law Teachers, the National Association for Public Interest Law, and The Bell Foundation. She also served on the board of directors at the National Organization for Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund and was a member of the American Philosophical Society. Williams also worked for The Nation, as author of the column, “Diary of a Mad Law Professor.”

Williams has received the Romnes Endowment for Excellence in Scholarship from the University of Wisconsin, the Alumnae Achievement Award from Wellesley College, and the Graduate Society Medal from Harvard University. In 1990, Williams received the Pioneer of Civil and Human Rights Award from the National Conference of Black Lawyers. She received the Bruce K. Gould Book Award from Touro Law Center in 1992, and the Exceptional Merit Media Award from National Women's Political Caucus in 1993. In 2000, she received the MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant.”

Williams has one son: Peter.

Patricia Williams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 12, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.101

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/12/2019

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

J.

Occupation
Schools

Boston Latin Academy

Wellesley College

Harvard Law School

First Name

Patricia

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

WIL94

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Any Beach

Favorite Quote

You Have A Right To Exist No Less Than The Grass Or The Trees Or The Sky

Bio Photo
Birth Date

8/28/1951

Birth Place Term
Favorite Food

Korean Fried Chicken Wings

Short Description

Lawyer Patricia Williams (1951- ) was a professor at Columbia Law School for twenty eight years and is a leading scholar of critical race theory.

Employment

Office of the City Attorney

Western Center on Law and Poverty

Golden Gate University School of Law

City University of New York Law School

University of Wisconsin Law School

Stanford Law School

Duke University School of Law

Columbia Law School

Harvard University

The Nation

Northeastern University

Favorite Color

Blue/Green

Pamelya Herndon

Lawyer and nonprofit chief executive Pamelya Herndon was born on November 23, 1952 in Hempstead, Texas to Kathryn and Daniel Norris Herndon. She graduated from Roy Miller High School in 1971, and earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus in accounting from Howard University in 1975. Herndon then attended the University of Texas Law School where she received her J.D. degree in 1978.

Herndon married fellow lawyer, Alfred Mathewson, in 1978, and the two moved to Denver, Colorado where she worked for a major accounting firm. She was then hired by the Internal Revenue Service as a senior litigation attorney. In 1983, Herndon and her husband moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Herndon continued to work for the IRS until she was appointed by Attorney General Patricia Madrid to serve in New Mexico’s Litigation Division in 1998. Here, she provided legal representation to state officials and agencies until 2006, before being appointed general counsel for the State Regulation and Licensing Department of New Mexico. In this position, Herndon supervised and managed the legal bureau of the Regulation and Licensing Department, as well as provided advice to the Office of the Superintendent. She remained here until 2009, when she became deputy cabinet secretary for New Mexico’s General Services Department, overseeing the administration of the government agency which housed the Risk Management, Building Services, Property Control, Transportation Services, and Administrative Services Divisions. In February of 2011, Herndon became managing partner of Herndon Legal Services, and served until October of that year. She was then hired by the Southwest Women’s Law Center in 2012 to work as their executive director until October 2018 when she founded the KWH Law Center for Social Justice and Change and became their president and CEO. Herndon also taught courses on the main campus and in the law school of the University of New Mexico. She also helped train paralegals and legal secretaries at Brookline College in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Herndon was elected as a member of the New Mexico Electoral College in 2008, is a member of the Albuquerque chapter of the American Association of University Women, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and has served on the boards of Emerge New Mexico, the African American Performing Arts Center Foundation, the Con Alma Health Foundation, and the United States Eagle Federal Credit Union. She has also received numerous awards for her work as a lawyer, including the 2012 Public Lawyer of the Year, presented by the Public Law Section of the New Mexico State Bar, the 2015 Lawyer of the Year, presented by the Albuquerque Bar Association, and she was named as a W.K. Kellogg Fellow in 2019. Herndon is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Herndon resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her husband, and they have three adult children: Eryn, Amber, and Justin.

Pamelya Herndon was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 26, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.068

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/26/2019

Last Name

Herndon

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Charles W. Crossley Elementary School

Roy Miller High School

Howard University

University of Texas at Austin School of Law

First Name

Pamelya

Birth City, State, Country

Hempstead

HM ID

HER06

Favorite Season

The Time Between The End Of Summer And Beginning Of Fall

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

London, Corpus Christi, and Portugal

Favorite Quote

There Is Nothing That You Can Imagine That You Cannot Do

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Mexico

Birth Date

11/23/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Albuquerque

Favorite Food

Fried Corn

Short Description

Lawyer and nonprofit chief executive Pamelya Herndon (1953 - ) worked for the State of New Mexico for thirteen years before serving as director of the Southwest Women’s Law Center, and later becoming the founding president and CEO of the KWH Law Center for Social Justice and Change.

Employment

KWH Law Center for Social Justice and Change

Southwest Women's Law Center

Herndon Legal Services

State of New Mexico; General Services Department

State of New Mexico; Regulation and Licensing Department

New Mexico Attorney General's Office

IRS; Department of Treasury

Deloitt, Haskins & Sells

Favorite Color

Purple

Gregory M. Weston

Lawyer Gregory Weston was born on July 27, 1957 in New Rochelle, New York to Miriam Yvonne Drake and Milton Moran Weston. Weston attended Stephenson Elementary School, Albert Leonard Junior High School, and New Rochelle High School. In 1979, he received his B.A. degree in political science from Howard University, and went on to receive his J.D. degree from Columbia Law School in 1982.

In 1982, he joined Kaye Scholer Fierman Hays & Handler as an associate attorney. Weston served as an associate at White & Case law firm in 1986 before serving as assistant general counsel at New York Life Insurance Company in 1990. In 1996, Weston joined Thacher Proffitt & Wood as counsel. Two years later, he joined Battle Fowler LLP as a partner. In 2000, Weston was hired by Akin Gump LLP, where he served as senior counsel. In 2003, he served as senior director at Cushman & Wakefield real estate services. Three years later, he joined Nixon Peabody LLP as counsel. Weston was hired by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP as senior counsel in 2010. Five years later, he moved to Winston & Strawn LLP to serve as a partner in the corporate group. At Winston & Strawn, he served on the Hiring Committee, Diversity and & Inclusion Committee and as co-chair of the Black Lawyer Network affinity group, which he founded.

Weston has been a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity since 1999. He served as general counsel to the National Association of Investment Companies, as a member of the Real Estate Executive Council, as a governor appointee to the Real Estate Board of the State of New York, and as a State Senate appointee to the New York State Procurement Council. Weston was a founding trustee of Democracy Prep Charter School and a trustee of Democracy Prep New York Schools. He served on the boards of Weston United, The Bridge New York, Leake and Watts, Associated Black Charities, and United Neighborhood Houses, and as the board president of Weston United Community Renewal. Weston also served on the Finance Committee for The Riverside Church and on the advisory board of Mobility Capital Finance.

In 1995, Weston received the Service Award from the New York State Bar Association for his work as chair on the Committee on Minorities in the Profession. He received the Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award from the Boy Scouts of America in 2013, the “Partner in Caring” award from The Bridge New York in 2017, and the Champion of Liberty award from Foundations for Criminal Justice in 2018.

Weston and his wife, Laura Michelle Morris, have two children: Nicholas and Lauran.

Gregory Weston was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 20, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.081

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/20/2019

Last Name

Weston

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

M.

Occupation
Schools

Howard University

Columbia Law School

Stephenson Elementary School

Albert Leonard Middle School

New Rochelle High School

First Name

Gregory

Birth City, State, Country

New Rochelle

HM ID

WES16

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

The Moral Arc Of The Universe Is Long, But It Bends Toward Justice

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/27/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Pasta

Short Description

Lawyer Gregory Weston (1957- ) served as partner at Battle Fowler LLP and senior counsel at Akin Gump LLP and Pillsbury LLP, before serving as partner at Winston Strawn LLP.

Employment

Thacher Proffitt & Wood

Pillsbury LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP

Kaye Scholer Fierman Hays & Handler

White & Case

New York Life Insurance Company

Battle Fowler LLP

Akin Gump LLP

Cushman & Wakefield

Nixon Peabody LLP

Favorite Color

Green

The Honorable Jeh C. Johnson

Cabinet officer and lawyer Jeh C. Johnson was born on September 11, 1957 in New York City to Norma Edelin and Jeh Vincent Johnson. He graduated from Roy C. Ketchum High School in Wappingers Falls, New York in 1975. He then received his B.A. degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1976, and his J.D. degree from Columbia Law School in New York City in 1982.

In 1982, Johnson was hired at the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, and later joined the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in 1984 as an associate. In 1989, Johnson served as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York. He subsequently became the first African American partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. In 1998, Johnson was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as general counsel of the U.S. Department of the Air Force until 2001, when he returned to Paul, Weiss. Johnson was later appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as general counsel for the U.S. Department of Defense in 2009. In 2012, Johnson returned to private law practice. The following year, Johnson was nominated by President Obama as Secretary of Homeland Security and served until 2017. He then rejoined the law firm of Paul Weiss as senior counsel.

Johnson served as chairman of the New York City Bar’s Judiciary Committee and was elected as a fellow by the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2004. He also served as special counsel to John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign and on the board of directors for Lockheed Martin, New York Community Trust, the Vera Institute, New York Hall of Science, the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Legal Aid Society, Delta Research and Education Foundation, and as a delegate for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Johnson also served as a non-resident senior fellow for the Harvard Kennedy School of Business and as a trustee for Adelphi University.

In 2017, Johnson was named Cyber Security and Data Privacy Trailblazer by the National Law Journal and was honored with the Anti-Defamation League’s Gorowitz Institute Service Award. He also received the Theodore Roosevelt Leadership Award, the NYSBA Pioneer Award, John J. McCloy Award, and the Ronald Reagan Peace Through Strength Award. In 2018, Johnson was listed among Savoy magazine’s Most Influential Black Lawyers; and, in 2019, he received Columbia’s University’s Annual Black Alumni Council Heritage Award.

Johnson and his wife, Susan DiMarco, have two children: Jeh Charles Johnson, Jr. and Natalie Johnson.

Jeh Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 9, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.027

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/8/2019

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

C

Schools

Columbia Law School

Morehouse College

P.S. 143 Louis Armstrong School

Poughkeepsie Day School

Sheafe Road Elementary School

Oak Grove Elementary School

Wappinger Falls Junior High School

Roy C. Ketcham High School

First Name

Jeh

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

JOH55

Favorite Season

Late October

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Tuscany

Favorite Quote

No Man Can Be Justly Judged Unless You Have Seen The World Through His Eyes

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/11/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Veal Saltimbocca

Short Description

Cabinet officer and lawyer Jeh C. Johnson (1957 - ) was the first African American partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP before serving as general counsel of the Department of the Air Force, general counsel for the Department of Defense, and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.

Employment

Department of Homeland Security

Department of Defense

Department of the Air Force

Southern District of New York

Sullivan & Cromwell

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Favorite Color

Orange

Charles J. Hamilton, Jr.

Lawyer Charles J. Hamilton, Jr. was born on October 16, 1947 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Geraldine Alma Taylor and Charles Jordan Hamilton, Sr. He received his A.B. degree in government from Harvard College in 1969; and then received a Henry Russell Shaw Fellowship to study at the Doxiadis Institute in Athens, Greece. In 1975, Hamilton obtained his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School, where he served on the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. He also received his M.C.P. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

From 1983 to 2000, he served as partner at the law firm of Battle Fowler, LLP before joining the law firm of Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker, LLP following the firm’s merger with Battle Fowler. Hamilton specialized in real estate development and finance, government finance, corporate governance, media and non-profit organizations. In 2010, Hamilton became senior counsel in the New York office of the law firm of Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP. Throughout his career, he represented the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; the National Urban League, Inc.; Equity Office Properties Trust; Millennium Partners, L.P.; McFarlane Partners, LLC; Fannie Mae in American Communities Fund; Bessemer Trust Company; and Casden Properties, Inc. He served as outside general counsel to Essence Communications, Inc. and the Freedom National Bank of New York, and special counsel to the Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc.; the Studio Museum in Harlem; the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation; and the Palau Mission to the United Nations. Hamilton was also an impartial arbitrator to the New York City Transit Authority and special fiscal counsel to the New York City Board of Education. In addition, he served on the faculty of the Practicing Law Institute’s program in Commercial Real Estate Financing.

In 2010, Hamilton was named chair of the board of directors of the Harlem School of the Arts. He has served on the boards of the Environmental Defense Fund, the Hudson River Foundation, the National Visionary Leadership Project, the Phoenix House Foundation, Inc., Granite Broadcasting Corporation, the Harvard Club of New York City, and the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. Hamilton was also on the Harvard College Board of Overseers’ Visiting Committee to the College and the Public Policy Committee of the board of directors of The Advertising Council, Inc. Additionally, he was a trustee of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Harvard Law School Association of New York City, Inc., and the Interest on Lawyer Account Fund of the State of New York.

Hamilton has received numerous awards throughout his career, including being named one of New York’s Most Powerful Lawyers by New York magazine in 1999, the W.E.B. DuBois Medal for Academic Leadership from Harvard University in 2000, named one of America’s Top Black Lawyers by Black Enterprise in 2003, and the National Urban League, Inc. Collins Award in 2006.

Charles J. Hamilton, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 27, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.023

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/27/2019 |and| 6/19/2019

Last Name

Hamilton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

J.

Occupation
Schools

Crescent Elementary School

Westinghouse Academy

Harvard University

Harvard Law School

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

HAM06

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Thomas

Favorite Quote

Let's Get Busy

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

10/16/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Steak Salad

Short Description

Lawyer Charles J. Hamilton, Jr. (1947 - ) served as senior counsel at the law firm Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP and as partner at the law firms of Battle Fowler, LLP and Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker, LLP.

Employment

Pillsbury , Madison, & Sutro

Battle Fowler, LLP

Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP

Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP

Favorite Color

Green

Diane B. Patrick

Lawyer Diane Patrick was born on December 17, 1951 in Brooklyn, New York to John Charles Bemus and Lilian Bemus. At a young age, Patrick and her family moved to the Hollis neighborhood in Queens. In 1972, she received her B.A. degree in education from Queens College of the City University of New York. Patrick went on to receive her J.D. degree from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California in 1980.

Between college and law school, Patrick worked as an elementary school teacher in the New York public school system. After graduating from Loyola Law School, Patrick joined O’Melveny & Myers as an attorney. In 1983, as a third-year associate, Patrick was asked to move to New York City along with three other associates and two partners to open the firm's New York office. Three years later, Patrick and her family moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where she served as university attorney for Harvard University before being promoted in 1992 to director and associate vice president of human resources. Patrick worked as an attorney at Hogan & Harston in Washington, D.C. for one year before returning to Boston in 1995 to join Ropes & Gray as a labor attorney. From 2006 to 2015, she served as First Lady of Massachusetts during her husband Deval Patrick’s two terms as Governor. In 2010, Patrick was appointed chair of the diversity committee at Ropes & Gray; and, in 2013, she was promoted to co-managing partner at the firm. Patrick retired from Ropes & Gray in 2016.

Patrick served on the boards of the Epiphany School, the Posse Foundation, Massachusetts General Hospital, Partners Healthcare, United Way of Massachusetts Bay, and Jane Doe, Inc. She has volunteered with the Commonwealth’s Foster Care Review Unit, the Boston Bar Association’s Lawyer for a Day program, and the Boston Women Build in the Bayou project. Patrick served as a trustee for ArtsBoston, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Cambridge College, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

While in law school, Patrick received the American Jurisprudence Award, Best Appellant Brief in Statewide Moot Court Competition, and Outstanding Graduate Award for outstanding academic performance and citizenship. In 2015, she was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Bostonians and received the Cushing-Gavin Management Attorney Award for Excellence from the Labor Guild. She received the Champion of Justice Award from Discovering Justice in 2017, and the Boston Bar Foundation’s Public Service Award in 2019.
Patrick and her husband, Deval Patrick, have two children: Sarah and Katherine.

Diane Patrick was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 12, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.099

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/12/2019

Last Name

Patrick

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

B.

Occupation
Schools

Queens College, City University of New York

Loyola Law School

First Name

Diane

Birth City, State, Country

New York City

HM ID

PAT12

Favorite Season

Thanksgiving

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Nevis

Favorite Quote

The Will Of God Will Not Take You Where The Grace Of God Will Not Protect You

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

12/17/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Favorite Food

Tomatoes, Hamburgers, and Tuna Fish

Short Description

Lawyer Diane Patrick (1951- ) served as managing partner at Ropes & Gray law firm, and as First Lady of Massachusetts from 2006 to 2015.

Employment

New York Public School System

O'Melveny & Myers

Harvard University

Hogan & Harston

Ropes & Gray

Governor Deval Patrick Administration

Favorite Color

Blue

Virgil Roberts

Lawyer Virgil Roberts was born on January 4, 1947 in Ventura, California. He attended Ventura College in Ventura, California and transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles, where he received his B.A. degree in 1968. After doing graduate studies for a year, Roberts earned his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1972.

In 1968, Roberts helped found the first African American studies program at the University of California, Los Angeles, and established the Center for Afro-American Studies, later known as the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. In 1972, Roberts joined the Los Angeles law firm of Pacht, Ross, Warne, Bernhard and Sears as an associate and civil litigator. There, he handled business litigation and did pro-bono work for civil rights organizations. In 1976, Roberts left the firm to found his own practice, known as, Manning, Reynolds & Roberts, where his clients included Associated Booking Corporation, Norman Whitfield and the Whispers. He also continued his pro-bono work and represented the NAACP from 1978 to 1981 in the Los Angeles school desegregation case, Crawford v. Board of Education. In 1981, Roberts served as executive vice president and general counsel of SOLAR Records, the company known as “the Motown of the 80’s.” Roberts was named president and general counsel of SOLAR Records in 1990, where he was instrumental in creating Death Row Records. In 1996, Roberts founded the law firm of Bobbitt & Roberts along with Leroy Bobbitt, where their clients included SOLAR Records, Gospocentric Records, Slip ‘n’ Slide Records, Blackground Records, Usher, Chaka Khan, NATPE International, Paramount Pictures, Black Entertainment Television and Barbara Taylor Bradford.

Roberts served as a founder and director of Community Build, he also served as chairman of Broadway Financial Corporation and Broadway Federal Bank FSB. In 2005, he founded and served as co-chair of Alliance for College Ready Public Schools; and, the following year, Roberts joined the Claremont Graduate University Board of Trustees. He joined the board of directors of The James Irvine Foundation. He founded and served as chair of the African-American Board Leadership Institute and as director of Great Public Schools NOW. In 2018, a middle school, the Alliance Virgil Roberts Leadership Academy, was named in his honor.

Roberts and his wife, Brenda, have two adult married children: Gisele Simone (Roberts) Wilson and Hayley Tasha Roberts.

Virgil Roberts was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 6, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.011

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/6/2019

Last Name

Roberts

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Ventura College

University of California, Los Angeles

Harvard Law School

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Virgil

Birth City, State, Country

Ventura

HM ID

ROB39

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $500 - $1,000

Favorite Season

Thanksgiving

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Tens - Audit

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

So good to be seen.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

1/4/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Favorite Food

Peach Cobbler

Short Description

Lawyer Virgil Roberts (1947 - ) worked as an entertainment lawyer for over forty years, served as president and general counsel of SOLAR Records, and founded the entertainment law firm Bobbitt & Roberts.

Employment

Pacht, Ross, Warne, Bernhard & Sears

Manning, Reynolds & Roberts

SOLAR Records

Bobbitt & Roberts

Favorite Color

Blue

Sheryll D. Cashin

Professor Sheryll Cashin was born on December 15, 1961 in Huntsville, Alabama to Joan and John L. Cashin, Jr. She received her B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee in 1984, her M.S.c degree in English Law from Oxford University in England in 1986, and her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1989.

In 1989, Cashin served as a law clerk for Judge Abner Mikva for the U.S. Court of Appeal, D.C. Circuit. The following year, she served as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. In 1993, Cashin served as director of community development for The White House during the Clinton administration. As director of community development for the National Economic Council, she oversaw urban policy and community development initiatives and advised on community development in inner-city neighborhoods. She also worked as an advisor on urban and economic policy with a focus on community empowerment programs. As staff director for the Community Empowerment Board in the Office of Vice President Al Gore, Cashin worked on community-based revitalization strategies for urban and rural communities. In 1996, Cashin left public service and joined the faculty at Georgetown University Law Center, where she has taught Constitutional Law, Race and American Law, and other subjects. In 2018 she was installed as the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law, Civil Rights and Social Justice.

In 2004, Cashin published The Failures of Integration: How Race and Class Are Undermining The American Dream. Then, in 2006, she published The Agitator’s Daughter: A Memoir of Four Generations of One Extraordinary African American Family, which chronicles her family history from slavery to the post-civil rights era. In 2014, she published Place Not Race: A New Version of Opportunity in America; and, in 2017, Cashin published Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy. The following year, her book The Descendants, which focused on the role of segregation in subordinating African Americans, was released. She has also written commentaries for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Salon, The Root, and other media.

In 2004, her book, The Failures of Integration was an Editors’ Choice in the New York Times Book Review. Cashin is also a three-time nominee for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for non-fiction in 2005, 2009, and 2018. In 2014, her book Place Not Race was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction.

Sheryll Cashin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 21, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.006

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/21/2019

Last Name

Cashin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

D.

Schools

Vanderbilt University

University of Oxford

Harvard Law School

First Name

Sheryll

Birth City, State, Country

Huntsville

HM ID

CAS04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Morocco

Favorite Quote

Power Concedes Nothing Without A Demand, Never Did Never Will

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

12/15/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Favorite Food

Cuban

Short Description

Lawyer and professor Sheryll Cashin (1962 - ) served as the White House’s director of community development during the first Clinton administration before publishing several books and becoming a professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center.

Employment

U.S. Court of Appeals

U.S. Supreme Court

The White House

National Economic Council

Office of the Vice President of the United States

Georgetown University Law Center

Favorite Color

Aqua

Gail Berry West

Lawyer Gail Berry West was born on September 29, 1942 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Johnnie Mae Newton and Theodore Berry. She received her B.A. degree in history from Fisk University in 1964, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. West went on to receive her M.A. degree in history from the University of Cincinnati in 1965 and her J.D. degree from Howard University School of Law in 1968.

In 1969, West began her career in the New York office of the general counsel for the International Business Machine Corporation (IBM). Upon moving to Washington, D.C., she transferred to the data processing division and also served as an attorney in litigation analysis, where she assisted in the litigation between IBM and the federal government. In 1977, West joined the Carter administration as special assistant to Patricia Roberts Harris, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She went on to work for Sarah Weddington, assistant to President Jimmy Carter, and served on the White House Task Force on Sex Discrimination. In 1980, West became deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of the Air Force in Reserve Affairs and Installations. She was responsible for policy, program guidance and executive direction for equal employment laws and regulations. She then worked as an attorney and consultant for several companies seeking contracts with the federal government. In 1983, she became executive director of government affairs for Bell Communications (Bellcore), where she served for twelve years until 1995, when she became director of government relations for Armstrong World Industries (AWI). From 2003 to 2007, West served as a consultant for AWI until her retirement.

West served on the board of trustees for the Corcoran Gallery of Art, WETA, Meridian International Center, the Fisher House Foundation, the Arena Stage, the Decatur House Council, the D.C. Commission on Fine Arts, and the National Museum of American History. She served as the vice regent for the District of Columbia to the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, on the board of the White House Historical Association, the Hillwood Estate Museum & Gardens, and as a member of the dean’s council for the Washington National Cathedral.

West is the recipient of numerous awards including; IBM Regional Manager’s Merit Award for Outstanding Contribution, Air Force Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service, Bellcore President’s Recognition Award and the Armstrong General Manager’s Award for Team Excellence.

West and her husband, the late Togo D. West, Jr., have two daughters: Tiffany West Smink and Hilary Carter West.

Gail Berry West was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 17, 2019

Accession Number

A2019.001

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/17/2019

Last Name

West

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

Berry

Occupation
Schools

Fisk University

University of Cincinnati

Howard University School of Law

First Name

Gail

Birth City, State, Country

Cincinnati

HM ID

WES15

Favorite Season

Summer, Fall, and Spring

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

South of France/Italy/Greece

Favorite Quote

Be Still And Know That I Am God

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/29/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chili

Short Description

Lawyer Gail Berry West (1942 - ) served as executive director of government affairs for Bell Communications before serving as director of government relations for Armstrong World Industries.

Employment

Armstrong World Industries

Bell Communications Research

Howard University School of Law

Department of Defense

Government of Washington, D.C.

U.S. Air Force

Department of Housing and Urban Development

International Business Machines (IBM)

White House Public Liaison Office

Favorite Color

Rose and Pink

Margaret Burnham

Lawyer Margaret Burnham was born on December 28, 1944 in Birmingham, Alabama to Louis and Dorothy Burnham. She received her B.A. degree in history from Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi, and her LL.B. degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1969.

Burnham served as a staff attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., in New York City from 1969 to 1972. Burnham then joined the Roxbury Defenders in Boston and worked there from 1972 to 1974. In 1973, Burnham was admitted to practice law in Massachusetts; and, in 1974, Burnham co-founded the Boston law firm of Burnham, Stern & Shapiro. In 1977, she became the first African American female to serve in the Massachusetts judiciary when she was appointed to the Boston Municipal Court bench as an associate justice by Governor Michael Dukakis. She held this role until 1983. She was also named executive director at the National Conference of Black Lawyers in New York City. Burnham was then selected as the 1985 Bunting Institute Fellow at Radcliffe College. In 1987, Burnham established the Law Office of Margaret Burnham in Boston; and, in 1989, she joined Burnham & Hines as a founding partner while serving as a lecturer for the department of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1993, South African president Nelson Mandela appointed Burnham to serve on an international human rights commission to investigate alleged human rights violations within the African National Congress. Burnham joined the Northeastern University School of Law faculty in 2002, and served as associate professor. She was promoted to professor in 2006.

Burnham was named chair of the board of directors for National Center of Afro-American Artists in 1992; and, in 1993, she was elected and served as member of the board of trustees for Old South Meeting House. Burnham has also served as a member of the The Algebra Project and for the National Advisory Board for the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College.

She has received numerous awards throughout her career, including: the 1995 Robinson Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Profession by the Women’s Bar Association in Boston, Massachusetts; induction into the YWCA Boston Academy of Women Achievers in 1996; an honorary doctorate degree of laws from Western New England College School of Law in 2000; an honorary doctorate of education degree from Wheelock College in Boston in 2002; the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association Trailblazer Award in 2008; the 2008 Newhouse Center for the Humanities Fellowship at Wellesley College; the 2009 International Criminal Justice Research Fellowship at Grotius Institute, University of Leiden at The Hague, Netherlands; and was a participant in the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program.

Margaret Burnham was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 16, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.211

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/16/2018

Last Name

Burnham

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Margaret

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

BUR29

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barbados

Favorite Quote

Still Here

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

12/28/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Lawyer Margaret Burnham (1944- ) was the first African American woman to serve on the Massachusetts judiciary before becoming a professor at Northeastern University School of Law.

Favorite Color

Blue