Ryan Haygood ’97, executive director and chief executive officer of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, paid tribute to the life and legacy of civil rights and racial justice leader Rep. John Lewis who passed away earlier this month in his op-ed piece, “John Lewis Taught Us to Tell Uncomfortable Truths.”
A nationally respected civil rights lawyer, Haygood is president and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (2015-present). Prior to leading the Institute, he served as the deputy director of litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund Inc., where he worked for more than a decade (2003-2015). Haygood began his legal career as a litigation associate at the New York law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, LLP (2001-03). As an undergraduate student, he was nominated for the Rhodes scholarship and earned academic and athletic All-American and hall of fame honors as a football player. Haygood graduated with his B.A. in American History and Political Science, cum laude, in 1997. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Colorado College in 2011. He currently serves as a trustee at Colorado College.