WASHINGTON, D.C., March 19, 2015 – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) today announced the resignation of President and Executive Director Barbara Arnwine. After more than 26 years of service to the Lawyers’ Committee, Ms. Arnwine has decided to pursue other leadership roles in the civil rights arena.
“Barbara is a civil rights trailblazer, passionately addressing racial discrimination on behalf of the Lawyers’ Committee for over two decades, especially in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice and immigration reform,” said Lawyers’ Committee Board Co-Chair John Nonna. “She has served as a stalwart and visionary leader of the Lawyers’ Committee and we wish her the best as she moves into the next phase of her work.”
“The Lawyers’ Committee has critical work to accomplish in the coming months,” Mr. Nonna added, “including educational equity, criminal justice reform and our nationwide Election Protection program, which has become a major resource for assisting historically disenfranchised Americans to exercise their fundamental right to vote. We look forward to continuing this vital work under the direction of a Board-led transition committee, while we identify Barbara’s successor.”
Lawyers’ Committee Board Co-Chair Donald Rosenberg noted that “the Lawyers’ Committee, founded at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the pro bono resources of the private bar in addressing racial discrimination, remains the nation’s principal network of lawyers from law firms across the country working pro bono to preserve the civil rights of all Americans. Barbara deserves much credit for bringing President Kennedy’s imperative to such vibrant life more than 50 years later.”
Ms. Arnwine said, “I am honored to have served this great institution since 1989 and look forward to following its future endeavors.”
During the period before the June 30, 2015 effective date of her resignation, Ms. Arnwine will focus her efforts on fundraising activities and assisting in the transition to a new Executive Director. The Board has appointed a Search Committee that will begin its work immediately. A Transition Committee has also been appointed, consisting of three Board members and two members of the senior staff, which will supervise the ongoing operations of the Lawyers’ Committee during this interim period.