Maya Wiley, president, and chief executive officer of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund, has been named the 2023-2024 Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. Chair of Civil and Human Rights by the District of Columbia School of Law Foundation (DCSLF). As a renowned civil rights lawyer, Wiley has worked as a litigator for the ACLU, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Inc., and The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Wiley also co-founded and led the Center for Social Inclusion, a national policy and advocacy group now part of Race Forward, a policy strategy organization working to end structural racism. Ms. Wiley is the first Black woman to serve as counsel to a New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, where she worked to protect and expand civil rights and to increase contracts given to Minority and Women-Owned businesses. As the Joseph L. Rauh Chair of Civil and Human Rights, Wiley will share her knowledge and expertise gained from her years of leading civil rights efforts with students at the University of the District of Columbia School of Law (UDC Law). “It is truly an honor to sit in the Chair named after the Leadership Conference’s esteemed General Counsel, Joseph Rauh, whose contributions to civil rights and liberties are too numerous to name. Joseph Rauh believed students deserved a public law school committed to social justice and he knew, as I do, that we need to continuously build the field of lawyers committed to civil rights and liberties. As the Joseph Rauh professor, I look forward to contributing to the future of our field. I am proud to join this critical community in educating our phenomenal students to deliver justice,” said Maya Wiley, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

 Wiley will engage with UDC Law students throughout the academic year as a mentor and source of inspiration. She will also participate in hosting a speaker series that will offer students a unique insight into the legal profession.

 “Ms. Wiley is a fitting choice to serve as this year’s Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. Chair of Civil and Human Rights because she truly advocates for justice. She has spent her entire career on the front lines of social justice and equity-yielding results. Her contributions and experiences will inspire law students as they become the next generation of social justice advocates. We are grateful to the District of Columbia School of Law Foundation for this opportunity and their continuing support,” shared Dean Twinette Johnson. 


The District of Columbia School of Law Foundation, established in 1993, was established to promote legal excellence through financial support for the District’s only public law school, the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law. Since its founding, the foundation has raised millions for student scholarships, summer public interest fellowships, UDC Law’s clinical programs, academic success, and bar passage initiatives.

About UDC Law 

Nationally recognized for its pioneering clinical program, UDC Law is committed to educating students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented at the bar and is home to one of the most diverse (law) student populations in the nation.

Media Contact: Anais Opara, 

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