Cornell William Brooks

Cornell W. Brooks

Visiting Professor of Social Ethics, Law, and Justice Movements

BA, Jackson State University
MDiv, Boston University
JD, Yale Law School

Areas of Interest
Civil Rights, Diversity & Inclusion, Religion & Law

Reverend Cornell William Brooks, Esq. (STH’87, LAW Hon.’15), former president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), joins both the School of Law and School of Theology faculties as a visiting professor of Social Ethics, Law, and Justice Movements for the 2017–2018 academic year.

Prior to the NAACP, Brooks previously served as executive director of the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington, was a trial attorney with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, was the 1998 Democratic Nominee for the US House of Representatives for the 10th District of Virginia, was the senior counsel of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and served as the president and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice.

He has authored several published articles and essays, and delivered 11 keynote or commencement addresses at domestic and international universities since 2015, as well as hundreds of speeches. Rev. Brooks also serves as a regular contributor for CNN, providing analysis and commentary on public affairs, civil rights and social ethics. His appearances include The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, CNN Newsroom, and New Day.

Brooks earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors in political science from Jackson State University in 1983, and his Master of Divinity degree with a concentration in social ethics and systematic theology from Boston University School of Theology in 1987. As a Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholar while studying at Boston University, he was awarded both the Oxnam-Leibman Fellowship for outstanding scholarship and promoting racial harmony, and the Jefferson Fellowship for outstanding scholarship and excellence in preaching. In 1990, he earned his Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School, where he served as a senior editor of the Yale Law Journal and member of the Yale Law and Policy Review.

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