Professor Larry Gibson, LLB, has been selected to receive the University of Maryland, Baltimore's 2009 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Diversity Recognition Award for achievements in the areas of diversity and inclusiveness. Gibson, a professor in the University of Maryland School of Law, will receive the award during a Feb. 6 luncheon event featuring a keynote address by Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.
Project Jump Start, a student group dedicated to providing aid to and advocacy for Baltimore's homeless, will receive the student award at the Feb. 6 event.
"This is a significant and well-deserved award," said Dean Karen H. Rothenberg, JD, of the School of Law. "Larry has shown a lifelong commitment to advancing equality, justice, and opportunity for African-Americans and served as a role model for generations of aspiring lawyers."
A faculty member at the School of Law for more than 30 years, Gibson also has been a civil rights lawyer, a political activist instrumental in opening public offices in Maryland to African-American candidates, and a public servant. He served as associate deputy attorney general of the United States during the Carter administration.
Over the course of his career, Gibson has been a leader in creating connections among peoples of diverse backgrounds by eloquently describing and rigorously documenting the struggles and successes of African Americans throughout Maryland history, particularly in the practice of law.
This year-coinciding with the centennial of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall's birth, and the 70th anniversary of the graduation of Donald Gaines Murray, the School of Law's first black student (whose entrance was secured by a Maryland Court of Appeals decision argued by Marshall)-Gibson unveiled a new permanent exhibit in the law school's Thurgood Marshall Law Library, "Thurgood Marshall's Early Career in Maryland: 1933-1937."
Justice Marshall's widow, Cecilia Marshall, unveiled the exhibit with Gibson during the law school's second annual Black Law Alumni Reunion and Symposium in September.
Project Jump Start was formed in 2005 by students seeking to ameliorate homelessness in Baltimore. The twice-weekly food, clothing and toiletry drives serve approximately 120 people. The program is led by student volunteers from schools across the campus. They also take donations from a local Starbucks to some homeless "hot spots" the other five nights of the week.
In addition, Project Jump Start continually collects and distributes the essential items for surviving in the streets such as blankets, hats and gloves. Group leaders also organize public events to bring attention to issues facing homeless persons in the city.
To request tickets for the presentation and luncheon, call 410-706-8035.