IIT establishes Sheldon H. Nahmod Civil Rights Award

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Illinois Institute of Technology has established an annual award honoring IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Distinguished Professor Sheldon H. Nahmod for his work in civil rights and civil liberties. The award is sponsored by IIT's Office of Multicultural Student Services.

Distinguished Professor Sheldon H. Nahmod
Distinguished Professor Sheldon H. Nahmod

Students from IIT and Chicago's Gage Park High School will receive the first Sheldon H. Nahmod Civil Rights Award for their project to create a memorial about the equal housing marches led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Chicago in 1966. Working as part of IIT's Interprofessional Projects program (IPRO), a multidisciplinary program where students apply their knowledge to real-world problems, the students are using modern technology to create kiosks in the Marquette Park area where the marches took place. Work on the project is ongoing. Once completed, visitors to the site will be able to download video of the marches, oral histories and documents. The award will be presented to the IIT-IPRO-Gage Park team on January 21, as part of the university's King Day celebration.

A member of the Chicago-Kent faculty since 1978, Professor Sheldon H. Nahmod is a noted expert on constitutional law, civil rights and the law of Section 1983 of Title 42 of the United States Code, perhaps the most important federal civil rights/civil liberties statute ever enacted. For nearly three decades, Professor Nahmod has convened the Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation Conference at Chicago-Kent that brings scholars and practitioners together for a greater understanding of the law. He has argued civil rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and many other federal courts. Professor Nahmod lectures regularly on civil rights matters to federal judges and attorneys throughout the country and speaks to lay groups about constitutional law.

Professor Nahmod graduated from the University of Chicago and Harvard Law School. He practiced with a corporate law firm and was a legal services staff attorney before entering academia. Professor Nahmod also was a teaching fellow at Harvard Law School, where he earned an LL.M. In addition, he received a Master in Religious Studies degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School.

After joining Chicago-Kent, Professor Nahmod served as associate dean for three years, and was named IIT Distinguished Professor of Law in 1992. He founded and co-directs Chicago-Kent's Institute for Law and the Humanities, which facilitates, supports and encourages symposia, lectures, scholarship, and faculty discussion on the relationship between law and other humanistic disciplines.

Professor Nahmod is the author of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Litigation: The Law of Section 1983 (4th ed. 1997, updated annually; 3 vols.); A Section 1983 Civil Rights Anthology (1993); a casebook, Constitutional Torts (3d ed. 2010, with Wells and Eaton) (forthcoming); numerous law review articles; and "Nahmod Law," a blog on Section 1983, constitutional law, the teaching and learning of constitutional law and other law-related topics.

Professor Nahmod has served as chair of the Section of Civil Rights and the Section on Law and Religion of the Association of American Law Schools. He received the 2001 Jefferson Fordham Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in Section 1983 jurisprudence from the American Bar Association's Section on State and Local Government Law.

Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, a private, Ph.D.-granting institution with programs in engineering, psychology, architecture, business, design and law. Since 1995, the university's IPRO program has joined students from various academic disciplines at IIT to work together as a team to tackle real-world problems.