It would have been hard for an African American child growing up in Texas to not know about Barbara Jordan (LAW’59, Hon.’69), says Houston native Angela Onwuachi-Willig, dean of the BU School of Law. “She was the first African American woman elected to Congress from the South, and she was a really outspoken advocate for justice,” Onwuachi-Willig says. “She was one of the names my mother always invoked around the house as someone I should look up to, to see all the possibilities I had here in the United States.”

Jordan, the first African American woman to represent Texas in Congress, beginning in 1972, was a member of the House Judiciary Committee and today is best remembered for her powerful 1974 speech to the Committee supporting the impeachment of President Richard Nixon and later, in 1976, for being the first African American, and first woman, to deliver a keynote address at a Democratic National Convention.

Supporting the series with a three-year gift is alumnus Gary Tischler (LAW’87), the cofounder and managing partner of Vanbarton Group LLC, a commercial real estate advisory firm based in New York City.

“For me, it was a timely and unique opportunity to partner with Dean Onwuachi-Willig and the School of Law to support a program that would shine a light, inform, educate, and weigh in on the issues around racism and inequality,” Tischler says.

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