Sheila Abdus-Salaam Memorial Lecture Featuring Eric H. Holder
Barnard College and Beyond Barnard present the Sheila Abdus-Salaam ’74 Memorial Lecture, featuring 82nd Attorney General of the United States Eric H. Holder in a fireside chat with President Laura Rosenbury.
Eric H. Holder, a law school classmate of Sheila’s and the first African American to serve as U.S. Attorney General, is an internationally recognized leader on a broad range of legal issues and a staunch advocate for civil rights. He will join Barnard College President Rosenbury, a leading feminist legal theorist, in conversation and community for this, the third annual Sheila Abdus-Salaam ’74 Memorial Lecture. Among the subjects they will discuss are civil rights; civic engagement, particularly during an election year; the importance of the rule of law and legal professionals; and Barnard’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The Sheila Abdus-Salaam ’74 Memorial Lecture
In 2018, a group of dedicated College alumnae established the Sheila Abdus-Salaam ’74 Memorial Scholarship Fund and Annual Lecture to honor Abdus-Salaam’s leadership and legacy in the Barnard community and beyond. This endowed fund provides financial aid support with special consideration for students who show a commitment to public service and who wish to explore the field of public interest law or work promoting social justice. The annual lecture underscores an enduring commitment to equity and justice, in honor of Sheila’s mission.
Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the great-granddaughter of an enslaved person, was born into a working-class family with six siblings in Washington, D.C. After attending public high school, she obtained a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College in 1974 and went on to Columbia Law School, graduating in 1977. Throughout her illustrious career, she advocated for fairness and justice. In 2013, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo appointed her an associate judge of the Court of Appeals; she was the first African American woman to sit on New York’s highest court. Her work to create a more just society reached beyond her position on the court, extending to her Harlem neighborhood and throughout the city and state.