The St. Thomas University College of Law (STU) in Miami Gardens has announced it will open a new social justice center named after Civil Rights lawyer Ben Crump.
The Benjamin L. Crump Center for Social Justice is slated to open next year on the STU campus with an initial donation of $1 million from the Truist Financial Corp.
According to NBC News, school officials will work to drive those in the center towards a career in social justice.
Crump has gained national attention over the last two years as he has represented the families of George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor and other victims of police and racially motivated violence.
Crump, who was once a personal injury lawyer, represented Martin’s family in 2012 and the family of Michael Brown in 2014. The Florida-based attorney has won financial settlements in more than 150 police brutality cases and his litigation has been paramount in pushing states to ban no-knock warrants.
“Our country went through a national reckoning in the spring and summer of 2020,” David. A. Armstrong, the president of St. Thomas University told NBC. “Ben Crump was at the center of that as the living civil rights attorney icon here in our country.”
Crump is excited about the news and believes the social justice center will help build and educate the next generation of civil rights and social justice warriors.
“We really are trying to prepare an army — the next generation of social justice engineers,” Crump told the Associated Press.
“We will have the next Thurgood Marshall, the next Constance Baker Motley, or the next Kamala Harris, to light the way for our community and get the American promise of liberty and justice for all.”
The center will support and educate STU students offering need-based financial aid, a speaker series for students to hear for those currently fighting for social justice and pro bono service placement for new lawyers.
Additionally, STU is launching a $35 million fundraising campaign to expand its ongoing training of social justice lawyers. The money will be used for the construction of a new building as well as classrooms and mock courtrooms.