Media Contact

November 28, 2023

Mississippi - Today, the ACLU of Mississippi announced the expansion of their legal team to include a critical new role, the Constance Slaughter-Harvey Senior Staff Attorney. The first of its kind at the MS affiliate, the position is solely dedicated to confronting issues of racial discrimination and social justice issues.

“The ACLU of Mississippi is committed to fighting against white supremacy and for racial justice,” said Jarvis Dortch, ACLU of MS Executive Director. “While we have witnessed great progress in our state and country, we also know that we are in a period of backlash against racial and social tolerance.”

The ACLU-MS is currently leading voting rights litigation to protect Black voting power from gerrymandering. They are also representing residents from the historical Black Gulfport community of Turkey Creek in an appeal to halt the building of a military installation in their neighborhood. Recently, the ACLU-MS filed two lawsuits against the City of Lexington and the town’s police officers for violating the civil rights of Black residents, prompting an investigation by the Department of Justice. The Constance Slaughter-Harvey Senior Staff Attorney position will increase the legal team’s capacity to challenge racial discrimination in the courthouse. 

The position is named in honor of Attorney Constance Iona Slaughter-Harvey, a Forest, Mississippi native, whose history with the ACLU of MS and the fight for racial justice spans over six decades. Slaughter-Harvey was the first Black woman to receive a law degree from the University of Mississippi, Mississippi’s first female, Black judge and the first Black female to receive the University of Mississippi School of Law Alumna of the Year recognition.

“I’ve tried to dedicate my life to racial justice,” Slaughter-Harvey recalled. “The position is something that I’ve lived for. It epitomizes my work, and it’s something that is needed. Equal justice is just not receiving the attention that it needs.”

The ACLU of Mississippi is organizing a new donor fund, the Liberty Circle, to build and organize sustainable support. All contributions to the Liberty Circle will support racial justice litigation, including the employment of the Constance Slaughter-Harvey Senior Staff Attorney.

Individuals interested in supporting the Liberty Circle can visit to make a donation. Interested candidates can view details of the new position, beginning January 2024.