Sherrilyn Ifill: UB Distinguished Speaker Series


Sherrilyn Ifill served as the seventh president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) from 2013 to 2022, and currently serves as president and director-counsel emeritus. Ifill, the second woman to ever lead LDF, provided visionary and transformational leadership during one of the most consequential and intense moments in our nation’s history. She began her career as a fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union, before joining the staff of the LDF as an assistant counsel in 1988, where she litigated voting rights cases for five years.

Among many honors, Ifill is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, and was recently named one of TIME Magazine’s Women of the Year. She was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the world in 2021, one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year in 2020, honored with a 2021 Spirit of Excellence Award by the American Bar Association, and named Attorney of the Year by The American Lawyer in 2020. In 2022, Ifill will receive the prestigious Brandeis Medal, named for Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, and recently received the American Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award.

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