Pauli Murray Endowed Lecture Campaign

Pauli Murray
Pauli Murray '45


About the Campaign

The Campaign to Fund the Pauli Murray Endowed Lecture series seeks to raise $100,000, to create an endowed lecture at Berkeley Law to commemorate the life and raise awareness of the groundbreaking scholarship of Pauli Murray.

The Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice (Henderson Center) together with faculty, students and a representative of the Berkeley Law Women of Color Collective (WOCC) will select annually a lecturer whose scholarship best exemplifies the pioneering work and spirit of Pauli Murray. The endowment will fund an honorarium and associated expenses.

If the campaign fails to raise an amount sufficient to fund the endowment what is raised will be managed by the Henderson Center and devoted to programs and activities that advance the cause of gender and racial equality.

The Campaign is a project of WOCC in association with the Henderson Center. WOCC’s mission is to enrich the experience and advance the needs of  African American, Asian & Pacific Islander American, Latina, Native American, and other women and trans people of color at Berkeley Law by providing a supportive space and offering cultural, social, professional, educational and community service programs.

About Pauli Murray

(B. 1910 - D. 1985)

Pauli Murray ‘45 earned an LLM degree from Boalt Hall after graduating first in her class from Howard University Law School where she was the only woman.  She was an attorney, law professor, civil rights activist, author, poet and the first Negro woman ordained an Episcopal priest.

At Boalt, she wrote, and the California Law Review published, the definitive law review article on the right to equal opportunity in employment.

Five years later, in 1950, Murray authored States' Laws on Race and Color, which Thurgood Marshall called “the Bible for civil rights lawyers.”

The NAACP adopted her approach to Brown v. Board of Education and borrowed the arguments she made in a seminar paper she wrote while a law student.

In 1961, JFK appointed her to the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.  In 1965, she co-authored the groundbreaking law review article “Jane Crow and the Law:  Sex Discrimination and Title VII,” in which she drew parallels between sex-based discrimination and Jim Crow. This work laid the groundwork for extending the scope of civil rights laws to protect women.

The following year she co-founded the National Organization for Women (NOW).