Constance Harvey

Coahoma Announces 66th Commencement Speaker

Attorney, columnist and former Assistant Secretary of State and General Counsel, Constance Slaughter-Harvey, will serve as the keynote speaker during Coahoma Community College's 66th Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 12, 2018, in the Pinnacle at 10 a.m.

Coahoma Announces 66th Commencement Speaker

Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4061 - Marriel Hardy

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Thu Apr 19, 2018

Constance HarveyAttorney, columnist and former Assistant Secretary of State and General Counsel, Constance Slaughter-Harvey, will serve as the keynote speaker during Coahoma Community College's 66th Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 12, 2018, in the Pinnacle at 10 a.m.

Coahoma President, Dr. Valmadge Towner, will preside over the ceremony and is honored to have Slaughter-Harvey address the 2018 graduating class.

“Attorney Slaughter-Harvey is a real-time example of how our students can reach their goals and become trendsetters for their community. Mrs. Slaughter-Harvey is also a role model, relative to using her gifts and talents to uplift our world,” said Towner.

Constance Slaughter-Harvey is first African American female to receive a law degree from the University of Mississippi (1970) and first female African American to serve as a judge in Mississippi (1975). The Black Law Student Association (BLSA) at the University of MS School of Law was named in her honor (she was one of the founders (only female) of the National BLSA in 1968)

Slaughter-Harvey also received the Law School’s Public Service Award, thus becoming the first female and first African American to be so honored. She was an adjunct professor at Tougaloo College (where she was the first female student government president in 1966) for more than 36 years.

Currently, she is the Scott County Bar President (10 years), Scott County Youth Court Prosecutor (8 years).

She is the past president of Magnolia Bar Association, Catholic Charities Board, Central MS Legal Services, Forest Rotary Club, and National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) where she was the first woman and first African American.

“She has used her legal skills to bring attention to important issues affecting our world; using her courage and voice to represent those who are perhaps vulnerable and voiceless,” stated Towner. “I believe that our campus can receive encouragement and motivation to live in a similar mode that Mrs. Slaughter-Harvey has lived. She is what Socrates said is so important for us to have "parrhesia"--boldness when it comes to freedom of speech.”

Slaughter-Harvey has filed more than 200 legal actions including the lawsuit desegregating the MS Highway Patrol, and the lawsuit against the State and City of Jackson for the wrongful deaths of students James Green and Phillip Gibbs at Jackson State in 1970.  She is one of the original attorneys in the Ayers lawsuit and filed many voting rights and redistricting cases. She also has extensive experience in nursing home and personal injury lawsuits.

She is the mother of Constance Olivia Slaughter Harvey Burwell (James) and the “Nonnie” to grandson, James Arthur Emmanuel Burwell, III (Tre’).  She is a member of the St. Michael Catholic Church.  For the past 23 years, she has served as a weekly columnist for the Scott County Times and the Spirit of Morton.

The commencement ceremony will be open to the public. For more information visit: http://www.coahomacc.edu/events/General/66th-commencement-ceremony