Nekima Levy-Pounds for Minneapolis Mayor
Nekima Levy-Pounds, Esq. is an award-winning professor of law, civil rights attorney, and a nationally recognized expert on a range of civil rights and social justice issues at the intersections of race, public policy, economic justice, public education, juvenile justice, and the criminal justice system. She has a heart for the people and works towards achieving justice on behalf of those whose voices are often unheard within society. A great deal of her legal work, scholarly writing, and advocacy focuses on identifying and implementing solutions for improving the quality of life for African Americans in general, and young African American men, in particular. To that end, she is co-founder and board chair of Brotherhood, Inc., a nonprofit organization geared towards young African American men ages 16-24, who have been involved in the criminal justice system or gangs or who are at risk of such involvement.
Professor Levy-Pounds also serves as a consultant to various civil rights groups, business entities, public policy organizations, academic institutions, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. She is an orator, lecturer, moderator of political debates, motivational speaker, and keynote presenter in local, national, and international forums. She has also trained law enforcement agencies, corrections departments, and K-12 educators on understanding the impacts of historical trauma, discrimination and the impacts of the uneven application of laws and policies upon the African American community.
In her role at the University of St. Thomas Law School, she serves as the founding director of the Community Justice Project, an award-winning civil rights legal clinic, which focuses on issues of race, poverty, and social justice through direct advocacy, research, and writing at the University of St. Thomas.
Professor Levy-Pounds serves as the chair of the Minnesota State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and is the co-chair of Everybody In, a regional collaboration of over 40 stakeholders across different sectors working to close the racial unemployment gaps in the region by 2020.
Professor Levy-Pounds is active in the local community, serving on the boards of the Minneapolis Foundation, Catholic Charities, the African American Museum, and Growth & Justice. She is also the author of numerous scholarly articles and essays on structural and systemic issues that impact poor communities of color. Her work has been featured in The Star Tribune, MinnPost, Minnesota Public Radio, The Pioneer Press, Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, Finance & Commerce, Insight News, Politics in Minnesota, and The Daily Planet.
Professor Levy-Pounds received her BA Degree from the University of Southern California in African American Studies. She received her JD Degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana She also received a Mini-Masters in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas.
Professor Levy-Pounds has received numerous awards and honors including:
Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal 2015 40 under 40 Honoree
Minnesota Lawyer, honored as Attorney of the Year 2014
Hennepin County Bar Association (Individual Lawyer) Diversity Award Winner 2014
Lawyers of Color Magazine: 50 Under 50 Professors of Color Making an Impact 2014
Faculty Member of the Year Award, Black Law Students Association 2014
Profile in Courage Award, Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers 2012
Inaugural Recipient of Launa Q.
Newman Community Justice Award, Minnesota Spokesman Recorder 2012
Named One of Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans by the Minnesota Jaycees 2011
Elected into the American Bar Foundation Fellows (honorary society of lawyers and judges)
American Association of Law Schools (AALS)
Shanara M. Gilbert Award, Emerging Clinician of the Year 2011
Outstanding Faculty Service Learning Award, University of St. Thomas 2011
GP/Solo American Bar Association,
“Breaking Barriers Award,” 2008
Kay Pranis Restorative Practices Award, Dispute Resolution Center 2008
Dean’s Award for Outstanding Law Teacher of the Year 2008
Diversity Leadership in Teaching & Research Award, UST 2008
Minnesota Justice Foundation, Law School Professor Award 2007
UST Law “Living the Mission Award”- Excellence in Public Service, 2006
BLSA Award for Excellence in Community Service 2005