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Challenging Regressive Voting Rights Policies: A discussion with Nancy Abudu, Interim Director of Strategic Litigation & Deputy Legal Director for the Voting Rights Program for the Southern Poverty Law Center

September 27 @ 12:45 pm - 1:30 pm


Across the country, a concerted assault on voting rights is taking place. Since the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – one of the most successful pieces of civil rights legislation designed to increase voter registration, turnout and fair electoral schemes – we have seen a proliferation of policies that do just the opposite. In response, the Southern Poverty Law Center and partner organizations have mounted a massive campaign to challenge these regressive policies, improve access to the ballot box, and demand government accountability. Nancy will address these issues and many more as we delve deeper into the 2021 redistricting cycle and gear up for the 2022 mid-term election season.

Nancy G. Abudu is the Interim Director of Strategic Litigation for the Southern Poverty Law Center. She also serves as Deputy Legal Director of the organization’s voting rights program. In both roles, she leads a team of lawyers, community organizers, and technical experts in protecting the human and civil rights of people of color and other vulnerable populations in the Deep South through litigation, lobbying, and public education. Prior to joining SPLC, Nancy was the Legal Director for the ACLU of Florida and a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. She has litigated a variety of civil rights and civil liberties issues in federal and state courts, including legal challenges to state felony disenfranchisement, proof of citizenship, and voter photo ID laws; and has pushed for greater enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act, Help America Vote Act, and other federal laws. Her practice areas also have included prison conditions, free speech, reproductive rights, immigrants’ rights, LGBT rights, privacy and government surveillance, and education issues.

In addition, Nancy has worked as a staff attorney with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, and an associate with the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in New York. She received her B.A. from Columbia University, her J.D. from Tulane Law School, and has won several awards and honors of recognition for her civil rights work. She is admitted to practice in Florida, Georgia, New York, the U.S. Supreme Court, and several other federal and state courts.

The Wasserstein Public Interest Fellows Program brings outstanding public interest attorneys to Harvard Law School to counsel students about public service. The program recognizes exemplary lawyers who have distinguished themselves in public interest work and who can advise students who are considering similar career paths. All students are welcome and encouraged to learn more and meet one on one with our Wasserstein Fellows.

Take-away lunch will be provided at the end of the program.

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September 27
12:45 pm - 1:30 pm
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Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising


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