University of St. Thomas School of Law Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds was elected president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP on May 2, 2015.

In a statement posted on her personal website May 3, Levy-Pounds said she was “overwhelmed with gratitude” to be elected to the position amongst a cabinet made up entirely of black women. She added, “It will be my honor to serve with these ladies as we stand and fight for justice and a break from the status quo.”

A civil rights attorney, law professor and founding director of the award-winning Community Justice Project at UST School of Law, Levy-Pounds recently was named an Attorney of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer, a Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree, NAACP History Maker, and Saint Paul Foundation Facing Race Ambassador Award winner.

Through her work at UST School of Law, Levy-Pounds fosters and inspires up-and-coming lawyers to work to improve the lives of members of under-served communities and youths in the Twin Cities. This year, her students in the Community Justice Project took on the case of a 16-year-old boy attending Minneapolis Public Schools’ Harrison Education Center, which ultimately led to the filing of a federal civil rights compliant with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.

She also has carved her place in the local civil rights movement by challenging laws and policies that hinder communities of color. Levy-Pounds most recently has taken an active role in the Black Lives Matter Minneapolis movement, serving as an advisor and spokeswoman, which led to her facing misdemeanor charges for helping to organize a protest at the Mall of America on Dec. 20, 2014 .

In addition to her role at UST School of Law, Levy-Pounds is co-chair of Everybody In, chair of the Minnesota Advisory Commission to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, member of the board of directors for Catholic Charities of Minnesota, Trustee of The Minneapolis Foundation, chair of Brotherhood, Inc. and the Minnesota African American Museum, fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and contributing writer to MinnPost, the Star Tribune, Minnesota Women’s Press, and Twin Cities Daily Planet.

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