Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Keynotes Law School’s Annual MLK Commemoration
On Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) hosted its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Commemoration Program and Reception. This year’s program featured a keynote address from Angela D. Alsobrooks, the State's Attorney for Prince George’s County. The event opened with welcoming remarks from Dean Camille A. Nelson and Sherry Weaver, acting director of AUWCL’s Office of Diversity Services, who has organized this program for 18 years running.
“We are proud to welcome State’s Attorney Alsobrooks as the keynote speaker for this important annual event,” said Dean Nelson. “This program provides an opportunity for our community to not only reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. King, but also on how we, as lawyers, can best follow in his footsteps in addressing today's unique challenges."
In her address, Alsobrooks explored the teachings of Dr. King, commenting that Dr. King noted how anger and fear operate to drive a wedge between us. She reminded the audience of Dr. King's message that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Alsobrooks, who was elected as State’s Attorney in 2010, and was the first woman to be elected to the office in Prince George’s County, referred to Dr. King’s “Drum Major Instinct” sermon, encouraging the attendees to “be drum majors for justice. Today we have to get ready for things that are coming,” she said, and continue to “fight for equality.”
As State’s Attorney, Alsobrooks leads a staff of 90 attorneys and 100 professional administrative staff responsible for prosecuting people accused of committing crimes. Under her leadership, prosecution rates have risen across the board and remain steady over the last 5 five years. Alsobrooks and her office have been a major factor in the record crime reduction the county has seen over the last four years. She has also taken the lead in the fight to reduce domestic and family violence, hosting conferences for children and families, and developing training programs for clergy and others who counsel couples and families in crisis.
After completing her public policy degree at Duke University, and earning her law degree from the University of Maryland, Alsobrooks was hired to serve as the county’s first full-time Assistant State’s Attorney dedicated to prosecuting perpetrators of domestic violence. She tried scores of cases and successfully prosecuted violent offenders.
Following the keynote and remarks from Vice Dean Tony Varona, community members participated in a reading of excerpts from President Barack Obama’s first Inaugural Address in which he called for a “new era of responsibility.”
Bag-a-Thon for Friendship Place Part of 2017 MLK Birthday Commemoration
AUWCL also hosted a Bag-a-Thon for Friendship Place as part of the annual commemoration program. The mission of Friendship Place is to “empower people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to attain stable housing and to rebuild their lives.” Students, faculty, and staff packed nutritious brown-bag meals for donation and remarks were given by Alan L. Banks, community engagement associate for Friendship Place.
October 20, 2016
After 29 years at American University Washington College of Law, Sherry Weaver is saying goodbye to the law school, and hello to retirement. Each year, Weaver has been instrumental in organizing the annual Martin Luther King tribute and Sylvania Woods Conference on African Americans and the Law, among other AUWCL traditions.
January 27, 2016
On January 14, 2016, the Office of Diversity Services at American University Washington College of Law hosted the 17th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Commemoration Program in Claudio Grossman Hall.The event kicked off the annual Founders’ celebration, which commemorates 120 years since the law school’s founding by Ellen Spencer Mussey and Emma Gillett in 1896.