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Alfonsín, Raúl Ricardo  

María de Lourdes Ghidoli

Alfonsín was born on 12 March 1927 in the city of Chascomús, Buenos Aires Province, with Spanish and German heritage on his father’s side and British on his mother’s. He was the eldest of Ana María Foulkes and Serafín Raúl Alfonsín’s six children. He married María Lorenza Barreneche on 4 February 1949, and they also had six children: Raúl Felipe, Ana María, Ricardo Luis, Marcela, María Inés, and Javier Ignacio. Only Ricardo followed in his father’s footsteps, though he entered politics in the 1990s, after his father’s presidency.

Alfonsín spent his childhood in Chascomús, where he attended primary school. As an adolescent, he entered the Liceo Militar General San Martín (General San Martín Military High School), located in Villa Ballester (Greater Buenos Aires). From there, he graduated in 1945 at the level of second lieutenant of the reserve Later he studied at the law school of the Universidad ...

Article

Barrow Noad, Alberto Silvestre  

Yohan Lee

was born in Panama City, Panama, on 24 February 1952, to Barbadian descendants. He attended the Instituto Fermin Naudeau in Panama City and in 1973 went on to the University of Panama, graduating in 1980 with a degree in law and political science and certification to practice before the Supreme Court of Panama.

Barrow began his career as a practicing labor attorney and later went on to work at several nongovernmental organizations including the World University Service SUM Panama Workshop of Labor and Social Studies the Latin American Regional Office of the International Federation of Building and Wood Workers based in Geneva Switzerland and the regional offices of the Union Network International He served in various capacities in the Ministry of Education as a legal assistance attorney and as the director of copyrights for the Republic of Panama He also served in the Office of Equal Opportunity for the ...

Article

Burns, Haywood  

Joseph Wilson and David Addams

a central figure in the civil rights and human rights movement in the United States as an activist, attorney, and scholar. Born in New York City in 1940, William Haywood Burns helped integrate the swimming pool in Peekskill, New York, at fifteen years of age and was a leader in the struggle for human rights and civil rights over the next four decades. He graduated from Harvard College in 1962. As a law student at Yale University, he participated in the 1964 Freedom Summer in Mississippi. He already had authored The Voices of Negro Protest (1963), which critiqued the leadership and mass character of the civil rights movement, and throughout his career he contributed chapters to other books. He was assistant counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in the late 1960s. Later he served as general counsel to Martin Luther King Jr.'s ...

Article

Cameron, Edwin  

Graeme Reid

South African human rights lawyer, Rhodes Scholar, and a Justice of South Africa’s highest court, the Constitutional Court, was born in Pretoria, South Africa, on 15 February 1953, to Kenneth Hughson Cameron, an electrician, and Salome Schoeman Cameron. He completed his schooling at Pretoria Boys’ High School and obtained a BA Law and an Honors degree in Latin, both cum laude, at Stellenbosch University. He lectured in Latin and Classical Studies before studying at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. At Oxford he obtained a BA in Jurisprudence and the Bachelor of Civil Law, earning first-class honors and the top law prizes. Cameron received his LLB from the University of South Africa, and won the medal for the best law graduate.

Cameron practiced at the Johannesburg Bar from 1983 to 1994. From 1986 he was a human rights lawyer based at the University of the Witwatersrand s Centre ...

Article

Chirwa, Vera Mlangazuwa  

Owen J. M. Kalinga

Malawi politician lawyer teacher and human rights activist was born in Mzimba district Nyasaland Malawi Both sides of her family were associated closely with Christian missionary work education and politics in the British colony Her paternal grandfather Jonathan P Chirwa was one of the first Africans to be ordained as a church minister in the Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Scotland he served briefly as a missionary at Mwenzo in Northern Rhodesia now Zambia and was to the first African to serve as the moderator of the synod Her maternal grandfather Yesaya Mlonyeni Chibambo was also a distinguished church minister in the same synod a close adviser to the Northern Ngoni paramount ruler Inkosi ya Makhosi M Mbelwa II and a founding member of the Mombera Native Association one of the early African welfare and political organizations in Nyasaland Her uncle Mackinley Qabaniso Chibambo was a prominent political activist ...

Article

D’Almeida Adamon, Grace  

Flore Nobime

Beninese feminist, human rights activist, and lawyer, was born Grace Antonia Almeida Benoite Adamon on 21 March 1951 in Dakar, Senegal. She attended primary school there before returning with her family to Dahomey to continue her secondary schooling. In Cotonou she enrolled in studies at the College of Our Lady of the Apostles. She then moved to Guebwiller on the upper Rhine in France where she finished her secondary degree.

D’Almeida Adamon attended university in France. At the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas, she earned a diploma, and followed with a master’s degree. At the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, she continued advanced studies in law and earned a DEA postgraduate degree. In order to become a lawyer, she returned to Paris II Panthéon-Assas where she left with her professional law degree (CAPA). In 1977 she began practicing in Paris as a lawyer but one year later she returned ...

Article

Dow, Unity  

Mary S. Lederer and Elizabeth Macharia-Mokobi

Botswana lawyer, judge, and women’s and human rights activist, was born on 23 April 1959, in Mochudi in the Kgatleng District of Botswana, 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the capital Gaborone, to Phiri and Malefshane. One of six children, Dow received her early education in Mochudi and attended law school at the University of Botswana and Swaziland and later at Edinburgh University, qualifying as an attorney in 1983. She immediately took employment as a criminal prosecutor with the Attorney General’s Chambers in Gaborone. On 7 March 1984, she married Peter Nathan Dow, an American national. They set up home in Mochudi with her daughter Cheshe Maitumelo (born in 1979) and welcomed two more children: a son, Tumisang Tad, in 1985 and another daughter, Natasha Selemo, two years later.

In 1986 Dow left the employ of the government and entered into private practice as a partner ...

Article

Edelman, Marian Wright  

Edelman was born Marian Wright, the youngest of Arthur and Maggie Wright's five children. When blacks in her hometown of Bennettsville, South Carolina, were forbidden to enter city parks, her father, a Baptist minister, built a park for black children behind his church. Edelman would later credit him with instilling in her an obligation to right wrongs. She attended Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, and spent her junior year in France, Switzerland, and Eastern Europe. Returning to Spelman in 1959, she helped organize protests for the developing Civil Rights Movement. The following year she graduated from college as valedictorian of her class, then entered Yale University, where she received a degree in law.

By 1964 the young law graduate was working as a lawyer in Mississippi where volunteers for the Civil Rights Movement were often beaten and jailed on phony charges While representing these volunteers ...

Article

Edelman, Marian Wright  

William C. Hine

Edelman was born in Bennettsville, South Carolina, one of five children of Arthur Jerome Wright and Maggie Leola Bowen Wright. She was named in honor of the singer Marian Anderson. Her father was the pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church, and her mother was the choir director and organist.

After graduation from all-black Marlboro Training High School, she enrolled at Atlanta’s Spelman College, where she intended to major in music. She changed her major to history after coming under the influence of the historian Howard Zinn and of President Benjamin E. Mays of Morehouse College. As an undergraduate she joined thousands of black high school and college students in the burgeoning civil rights movement. She was among several hundred people arrested at sit-ins in Atlanta in March 1960. She graduated from Spelman in 1960 and planned to pursue a scholarly career in Russian and Soviet studies But ...

Article

Edelman, Marian Wright  

Rosetta E. Ross

civil rights attorney and founder of the Children's Defense Fund, was born Marian Wright in Bennettsville, South Carolina, to Arthur Jerome Wright, a Baptist minister, and Maggie Leola Bowen, an active churchwoman. Both parents were community activists who took in relatives and others who could no longer care for themselves, eventually founding a home for the aged that continued to be run by family members in the early twenty-first century. The Wrights also built a playground for black children denied access to white recreational facilities, and nurtured in their own children a sense of responsibility and community service. As soon as Marian and her siblings were old enough to drive, they continued the family tradition of delivering food and coal to the poor, elderly, and sick. Arthur Wright also encouraged his children to read about and to revere influential African Americans like Mary McLeod Bethune and Marian Anderson ...

Article

Edelman, Marian Wright  

Julie Gallagher

lawyer, activist, and children's advocate. Marian Wright was born in Bennettsville, South Carolina, to Arthur Jerome Wright, a Baptist preacher, and Maggie Leola Bowen Wright. Raised with a strong sense of community, Marian Wright was taught that character, self-discipline, determination, attitude, and service were the substance of life.

As a student at Spelman College in Atlanta, Wright studied with the historian and civil rights activist Howard Zinn. She also traveled to Europe, where she spent fifteen months learning to take risks and to follow her own path. Wright graduated as valedictorian of her Spelman College class in 1960 and proceeded directly to Yale University Law School. While still a law student she worked on a project to register African American voters in Mississippi. She graduated with a law degree in 1963.

Wright first went to work for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational ...

Article

Farmer-Paellmann, Deadria  

Alfred L. Brophy

slavery reparations activist, is one of six daughters of Wilhemina and James Farmer. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She received a BA in Political Science from Brooklyn College in 1988, a master's degree from George Washington University in 1995, and a law degree from New England School of Law in 1999. New England School of Law was known for the commitment of its students and faculty to social activism. Farmer-Paellmann married a German national, and they had one daughter. Her employment includes acting as executive director of the Restitution Study Group and as an adjunct professor at Southern New England Law School. Her public service interest includes work with the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America.

Farmer Paellmann s family history sparked an interest in the reparation movement Family tradition includes memories of her grandfather talking of the family ...

Article

Fenwick, Lila Althea  

Michael Zhang

was born in New York, New York, to Trinidadian immigrants, John and Hilda Fenwick. Her father was a landlord who managed several properties located in Harlem and the Bronx.

Fenwick attended Barnard College in New York, where she graduated in 1953 with a degree in history. Upon graduation, Fenwick attended Harvard Law School. She was one of only a handful of women in her class since the law school began admitting women only in 1950 just three years prior to Fenwick s arrival While women were now admitted to the institution they were not necessarily made to feel welcome For many years women served as targets for their male peers and professors Notoriously a monthly event known as Ladies Day involved professors calling on female students in class with the intention to publicly embarrass and humiliate the respondents Fenwick also recollected an instance during her time at Harvard Law ...

Article

Francis, Norman C.  

Twinette L. Ackerson

educator, activist, and lawyer, was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, one of five children. Francis's father, Joseph A. Francis, a barber who owned his own business, was known around town as “Mr. Joe the Barber.” Though his father and mother, a homemaker, provided the necessities for their children, they were considered poor for the times. In what could be considered a foreshadowing of Francis's lifelong career path, his parents believed strongly in the benefits and importance of education for their children. They expressed that belief by sending their children to Catholic schools and making sure they kept up with their studies.

Francis attended Saint Paul Catholic High School in Lafayette, Louisiana. He was the class president and valedictorian. After graduating from Saint Paul in 1948, Francis entered Xavier University of New Orleans. In 1952 he earned his BA degree from Xavier and enrolled in Loyola ...

Article

Glélé-Ahanhanzo, Maurice  

Leland Conley Barrows

Beninese jurist, historian, international civil servant, human rights activist, and chief justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Benin, was born on 15 March 1934 in the town of Zinvié, not far from Abomey, the former royal capital of the Fon Kingdom of Dahomey. Because Glélé’s intellectual talents were recognized by his Roman Catholic primary school teachers, he was enabled to complete his secondary education at the Lycée van Vollenhoven in Dakar, Senegal, where he earned the lettres classiques baccalaureate in 1955. After a year of studying law at the newly founded University of Dakar, he entered the preparatory section of the prestigious Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris in order to qualify, in 1958, for the diploma of civil administration, awarded by the National School for the Training of Overseas Administrators (the former École Coloniale). He then went on to earn the licence in law in 1960 ...

Article

Kemneloum Djiraibé, Delphine  

Jeremy Rich

Chadian lawyer and human rights activist, was born in Koumra, a town in the southern Chadian province of Moyen-Chari on 1 December 1960. She had nine brothers and sisters. Her father Djiraibé was a soldier and one of François Tombalbaye’s best students when Tombalbaye worked as a teacher in the 1940s and early 1950s. Tombalbaye went on to become the first ruler of Chad from 1960 to 1975. Her mother Joséphine Mademadge also attended school. Kemneloum attended schools staffed by Catholic nuns in Koumra. When her father was transferred to the southern Chadian town of Moundou, Kemneloum continued her education there. Her secondary studies were interrupted by the civil war of 1979, but Kemneloum passed her baccalaureate examinations in 1982 She took the test just as northern Chadian troops of the Forces Armees du Nord FAN rebel movement entered Moundou Thanks to her well connected family ...

Article

Mensah Sarbah, John  

Kwaku Larbi Korang

With the 1897 publication of his groundbreaking Fanti Customary Laws, John Mensah Sarbah (1864–1910), lawyer, “ethno-sociologist,” nationalist, politician, and newspaper publisher,

positioned himself at the head of a modern African intellectual tradition in which the Western-educated African, in empirical study, identified him- or herself with his or her own native customs as “originally” expressed in the oral tradition. As exemplified in Sarbah’s work, the native intellectual who applied the empirical method to the traditional world was also expected to come away with proof that, in (spite of) their oral expression, native traditions had a rational constitution and expressed this rationality in their institutional life-histories. Orality not being an order of mere randomness, therefore, the native intellectual could codify it and, in writing, reveal its inherent constitutional and institutional rationality. This is the task that the genius of Sarbah brilliantly accomplishes in Fanti Customary Laws and Fanti National ...

Article

Pillay, Navanethem  

Meghan Elisabeth Healy

South African human rights advocate and judge, was born 23 September 1941 into a Tamil family in Clairwood, Durban. Her father was a bus driver, and her mother had never been to school. Pillay first sat in the Durban High Court as a six-year-old, testifying after she was robbed while carrying her father’s wages; this was her first memory of injustice, as her family was never compensated. She attended school in Durban, where she wrote essays decrying apartheid’s injustices and harbored ambitions to ameliorate these injustices as a lawyer. Some of her teachers discouraged her dreams.

Her family and community nonetheless collaborated to fund her education at the University of Natal, from which she graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in 1963 and a bachelor of laws in 1965. At university, Pillay was fascinated by the Nuremberg Trials and joined the antiapartheid Unity Movement. In January of 1965 ...

Article

Robinson, Randall  

James Thomas Jones

activist, author, and founder of TransAfrica. Born in Richmond, Virginia, to Maxie Cleveland Robinson and Doris Robinson, Randall Robinson had an academically inclined and politically aware family. Both his parents were schoolteachers, so his growing up in a household filled with books and ideas is not surprising. All the Robinson children found success: Jewell, the eldest sister, integrated Goucher College and became an actress; Maxie Jr., known as Max, became a news anchor for ABC's World News Tonight, the first African American to anchor a national network-news program; and Jeanie, the youngest, also became an educator. Randall's path to success was not particularly smooth, however. Although in 1959 he earned a basketball scholarship to Norfolk State College, success proved elusive, and he dropped out and was drafted into the army.

Discharged from the army, Robinson enrolled at Virginia Union University and graduated in 1967 ...

Article

Robinson, Randall  

Cassandra Veney

lawyer, human rights activist, and founder and president of TransAfrica and TransAfrica Forum, was born in Richmond, Virginia, one of four children of Maxie Cleveland Robinson Sr., a high school history teacher, and Doris Alma Jones, an elementary school teacher. His sister Jewell was the first African American admitted to Goucher College in Maryland, and his brother Max Robinson was the first African American to anchor a national news program. Although both his parents attended college, the family experienced poverty early on, like most African American families living in Richmond at the time. Robinson attended public schools and felt the effects of racism and discrimination as he negotiated his way within the confines of a segregated society.

Following graduation from high school in 1959 Robinson attended Norfolk State College in Virginia on a basketball scholarship but he left the university during his junior year ...