Advancing America Toward Justice
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Connie Rice

Civil rights lawyers & founder, Advancement project

Banquet and Panel 1 Speaker

We’re on our way. I’m hopeful because [the public] is asking questions they didn’t used to ask and they’re willing to be filmed. I don’t know why the community doesn’t get organized and start equipping every member of the public with cameras. Don’t wait for the police to do the camera work. Let’s put cameras on ourselves and flip them on anytime we’re interacting with police and the public. That will do more to change things than anything.
— Connie Rice, Civil Rights Lawyer & Founder, Advancement Project

Connie Rice, an award-winning veteran civil rights activist and lawyer, has been a champion and advocate of civil rights throughout her storied career. In addition to her legal and advocative efforts, she is a co-founder of the Advancement Project, a multi-racial civil rights organization focused on racial justice in the legislative, and a former member of President Obama’s White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

Ms. Rice has also served as a trusted advisor to MPAC on countless public policy and national security matters. In the past, she publicly warned against Korematsu, the Supreme Court case concerning the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066, which ordered Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II. She has been outspoken on making Muslims visible in public affairs and advocated for Muslims to be treated as partners rather than suspects, as in the case of Japanese Americans.

In 2000, Ms. Rice and MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati, alongside 44 other leaders, co-chaired a state commission that focuses on ways to ensure that crimes motivated by bigotry are no longer overlooked by officials and communities. In 2006, Ms. Rice also participated in the Interfaith Peacemaking Project with MPAC co-founder, the late Dr. Maher Hathout. Ms. Rice is a graduate of Harvard University, the New York University School of Law, and served as a part of the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund.