Sherrilyn Ifill, the new president of the NAACP LDF, shares her vision of justice.

By Jenée Desmond-Harris,

The NAACP announced this week that attorney and law professor Sherrilyn Ifill will be the LDF’s (Legal Defense Fund’s) next president and director counsel [beginning in January 2013].

Sherrilyn Ifill, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Law, will chart a new course for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund as its new head.

Perhaps best known for its role in the landmark school-desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education, LDF has worked for decades to expand political participation, forestall injustice in the criminal-justice system, broaden avenues of educational opportunity, defend economic freedoms and further the nomination and appointment of fair-minded and diverse judges through impact litigation and advocacy.

“LDF changed America,” Ifill told The Root. “But too many have been left behind, and the opening of the door is getting narrower and narrower….

We can no longer assume that generations of Americans understand the importance of racial justice and equality, or even what those words mean. We cannot assume that even all of the judges we face understand the history, intended purpose or effect of our civil rights laws and statutes on the individuals they were designed to protect.

And we are confronted with the task of identifying civil rights problems that look very different from those in the past but have the effect of perpetuating racial inequality.”

Read the full interview here.