2021 THURGOOD MARSHALL AWARD

About the Celebration

Honoring Dr. Clarence B. Jones

Dr. Clarence B. Jones has invested upwards of sixty years of his life to advance U.S. civil rights as a passionate activist, accomplished attorney, and speechwriter to Martin Luther King Jr. This year, the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice awarded him the coveted 2021 Thurgood Marshall Award to celebrate Dr. Jones' long-term contributions in the legal profession.

During the Friday, August 6, virtual celebration, special guests - including Ambassador Andrew Young, ACLU National Legal Director David Cole; Akonadi Foundation President Lateefah Simon; Comedian and The Daily Show Correspondent Ronny Chieng; Raytheon Technologies Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President Marie Sylla-Dixon; Morton & Sophia Macht Professor of Law Larry Gibson; Attorney Thurgood Marshall Jr.; and USF Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice Co-Founder and Director Jonathan D. Greenberg - paid homage to the legend. The virtual event was a joyous moment for the civil rights legal community, with acclaim pouring in from the audience. President Barack Obama also shared his thoughts on the awardee, and told the audience to "embrace action over resignation."

How to Watch

If you were unable to watch the event live, we've got you covered. Read on for details on watching the 2021 Celebration at your convenience.

AS AN ANNUAL MEETING ATTENDEE & TICKET HOLDER | If you registered for the 2021 Annual Meeting and purchased a ticket to the Thurgood Marshall Celebration, you have access to the event recording until September 10.

AS A NEW VIEWER | If you did not register for the Annual Meeting and purchase a ticket to the Thurgood Marshall Celebration, you can still watch the event! To view, please make a $100 donation to our Thurgood Marshall FJE fund, and within one business day, a member of staff will send you a link to the recorded celebration!

Dr. Clarence B. Jones, prominent Civil Rights leader and advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., received the 2021 Thurgood Marshall Award.

Dr. Clarence B. Jones, prominent Civil Rights leader and advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., received the 2021 Thurgood Marshall Award.

Dr. Clarence B. Jones' Acceptance

Dr. Clarence B. Jones graciously accepted the 2021 Thurgood Marshall Award and recounted the impactful people who have come before him that made this achievement possible. Some of the most prominent people in Dr. Jones' life, he says, were his parents, who he accepted the award in honor of.

Interview with Dr. Jones and Ronny Chieng

Watch this excerpt from the Celebration, featuring Ronny Chieng, stand-up comedian and senior correspondent with The Daily Show. In this 10 minute clip he virtually sits down with Dr. Jones to recall his decades-long journey at the forefront of civil rights and social justice work.

EXCLUSIVE - Watch the full 1-hour interview with Dr. Jones and Ronny Chieng

Watch the FULL conversation between Ronny Chieng and  Dr. Jones in this never-before-seen video. 

Closing Remarks Featuring President Barack Obama 

The legendary President Barack Obama made a surprise guest appearance to close out the award celebration. This appearance marks the first and only time the former President has spoken at an American Bar Association event.