BurnhamApril 19, 2016 –– Professor Margaret Burnham, founder of the School of Law’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project (CRRJ) has been selected as one of 33 nationwide winners of the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program.

The fellows were selected based on the originality, promise and potential impact of proposals submitted to the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Each will receive up to $200,000 to fund one to two years of scholarly research and writing aimed at addressing some of the world’s most urgent challenges to US democracy and international order.

“The Carnegie Fellowship is a tribute to the work of scores of Northeastern students and the families whose quest for justice they have pursued,” said Burnham. “For almost a decade now, CRRJ has documented the massive harms perpetrated by our country’s criminal justice system, and promoted truth-telling and accountability. As we continue to uncover the daunting legacy of racial trauma, we now have confidence that our findings and recommendations will reach a wide audience. I am deeply grateful to the School of Law for its long-standing and continuing support, and to the Carnegie Corporation of New York for this significant contribution to our work and mission."

Burnham will use the funding to deepen and extend CRRJ’s work and research dedicated to seeking justice for crimes of the civil rights era. Currently, Northeastern University School of Law students, under the direction of Burnham and CRRJ staff, assess and develop a range of policy approaches, including criminal prosecutions, truth and reconciliation proceedings, and legislative remedies. In 2010, Burnham headed a team of outside counsel and law students in a landmark case that settled a federal lawsuit: Burnham’s team accused Franklin County Mississippi law enforcement officials of assisting Klansmen in the kidnapping, torture and murder of two 19-year-olds, Henry Dee and Charles Eddie Moore. The case and settlement were widely covered in the national press.

Burnham began her career at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. In the 1970s, she represented civil rights and political activists. In 1977, she became the first African American woman to serve in the Massachusetts judiciary, when she joined the Boston Municipal Court bench as an associate justice. In 1982, she became partner in a Boston civil rights firm with an international human rights practice. In 1993, South African president Nelson Mandela appointed Professor Burnham to serve on an international human rights commission to investigate alleged human rights violations within the African National Congress. The commission was a precursor to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Carnegie Fellows Program supports both established and emerging scholars, journalists, and authors whose work distills knowledge, enriches our culture, and equips leaders in the realms of science, law, technology, business, and public policy.

The nominating process entailed three levels of review and began with the Corporation seeking recommendations from more than 600 leaders representing a range of universities, think tanks, publishers, and nonprofit organizations nationwide. They nominated some 200 candidates, whose proposals were evaluated by an anonymous team of prominent scholars, educators, and intellectuals. The final selections were made by a distinguished panel of 16 jurors, including heads of the country’s premier scholarly institutions and presidents of leading universities and foundations.

>> Learn more about the Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program

About Northeastern University School of Law

The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country and is a national leader in legal education reform. Founded with cooperative legal education as the cornerstone of its program, Northeastern guarantees its students an unparalleled full year of practical legal work. All students participate in four, full-time legal placements, and can choose from the more than 900 employers worldwide participating in the school’s signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. The future of legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experience to successfully practice law.