Sherrilyn Ifill is the seventh President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), and has held this position since 2013. After graduating law school, Ifill began her career as a Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union, and in 1988 joined LDF’s New York office as an Assistant Counsel. After five years of litigating voting rights cases, Ifill left LDF in 1993 to join the faculty at University of Maryland School of Law. There, she spent 20 years teaching civil procedure and constitutional law, while simultaneously litigating and consulting on a broad and diverse range of civil rights cases. Ifill has published academic articles in leading law journals, and op-eds and commentaries in leading newspapers. In 2007, her book On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century was credited with laying the foundation for contemporary conversations about lynching and reconciliation. In 2013, Ifill rejoined LDF and has been a frequent public commentator on racial justice issues, participating in President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
“We are in a profound crisis of democracy born of this country’s refusal, failure, and inability to grapple with racism."