CRRJ Logo08.01.18 — The Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project’s (CRRJ) investigation of six Jim Crow-era murders will be featured in an exhibit, “Murders in Mobile,” opening August 18 at the History Museum of Mobile in Alabama. In addition, a Mobile street will be named in honor of Rayfield Davis, one of the murder victims.

Davis was a janitor at Mobile’s Brookley Air Force Base. On March 7, 1948, Davis and a mechanic argued. Davis reportedly told the man that equality was coming for whites and blacks, which enraged the man to the point that he beat Davis to death. Davis’ body was left in a ditch on Tennessee Street.

Read more here:

In 2012, law students involved with CRRJ, under the director Professor Margaret Burnham, began a re-examination of the six killings in the South between 1930 and 1970. These investigations form the basis of the museum exhibit.

“The students’ thorough investigative work made it possible years later for the community to come together and not only honor one of the victims, but to collectively examine and reflect upon racially motivated violence in Mobile in the 1940s,” said Kaylie Simon ’11, CRRJ’s project director.

The public is invited to attend the 10 a.m. street naming ceremony on August 18 at Tennessee and Broad Streets, where Davis was killed, to honor his life and legacy, and then to visit the museum for the opening of the exhibit.

For more information, contact


About the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project

The Civil Rights and Restorative Justice (CRRJ) Project, founded by Professor Margaret Burnham, addresses harms resulting from the massive breakdown in law enforcement during the civil rights movement, from the 1950s to the early 1970s. This was a time of great political protest and turmoil as African-Americans and their allies militantly rejected Jim Crow, second-class citizenship, and economic exploitation. The project engages teachers and students across the university and is directed by faculty from the School of Law and the College of Criminal Justice.

CRRJ focuses on these public policy and criminal justice initiatives. It conducts research into the nature and extent of anti-civil rights violence. CRRJ works with members of a diverse community – prosecutors, lawmakers, victims – that is seeking genuine reconciliation through legal proceedings, law reform, and private investigations. CRRJ assists these groups to assess and develop a range of policy approaches, including criminal prosecutions, truth and reconciliation proceedings, and legislative remedies. On the research front, CRRJ’s work aims to develop reliable data with which to analyze events of anti-civil rights violence and to support research into the history and current significance of anti-civil rights violence.

The two components of CRRJ’s program are research and remediation. Scholars from a range of disciplines – including law, criminal justice, history, sociology, and political science – are engaged in CRRJ’s empirical research, the main program of which is compiling and analyzing information about anti-civil rights harms.  The research program also encompasses CRRJ’s work on cold Civil Rights-era cases.  The remediation program assesses and supports policy measures to redress the harms, including prosecution, truth and reconciliation proceedings, state pardons, and apologies by state and private entities who bear responsibility for the harms.

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 full-time legal placements, and can choose from the more than 1,500 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.