ATLANTA – The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund launched a $40 million scholarship program on Monday to support a new generation of civil rights lawyers, dedicated to pursuing racial justice across the South.
With that whopping gift from a single anonymous donor, the fund plans to put 50 students through law schools around the country. In return, they must commit to eight years of racial justice work in the South, starting with a two-year post-graduate fellowship in a civil rights organization.
“The donor came to us,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The donor very much wanted to support the development of civil rights lawyers in the South. And we have a little bit of experience with that.”
Canada wants Biden's ear on pipeline
Top officials in Canada want a chance to make the case for a long disputed oil pipeline to be built amid reports President-elect Joe Biden will cancel Keystone XL.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Monday he will seek legal damages if reports are true that Biden plans to scrap the pipeline on his first day upon taking office. Biden's plan is outlined in transition documents seen by Canadian media outlets. “We hope President-elect Biden will show respect for Canada and will sit down and at the very least talk to us,” Kenney said. Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said Monday the transition team had no comment on the pipeline.
The 1,700-mile pipeline would carry roughly 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. The Obama administration rejected it, but President Donald Trump revived it and has been a strong supporter. Construction already started.
Embattled senator finds new publisher
Sen. Josh Hawley has found a new publisher after his book was dropped by Simon & Schuster in the wake of the siege of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.
The conservative publisher Regnery announced Monday that Hawley's “The Tyranny of Big Tech” will come out this spring. “Regnery is proud to stand in the breach with him. And the warning in his book about censorship obviously couldn't be more urgent,” Regnery President and Publisher Thomas Spence said in a statement.
Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, has been widely condemned for his encouragement of the Jan. 6 protest that ended with a violent mob rampaging through the Capitol. Thousands had gathered that day as Congress voted to formally certify Joe Biden's win over Trump. Hawley and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, also a Regnery author, led objections in the Senate to Biden's victory.
Graceland offering virtual tours
Elvis Presley's Graceland is offering live online tours for fans around the world, including those who can't travel to the Tennessee tourist attraction during the coronavirus pandemic.
Graceland said the two-hour guided tours will take virtual visitors into Presley's former Memphis home, which has been turned into a museum, and through the Meditation Garden, where he is buried. The singer and actor died in Memphis on Aug. 16, 1977. Also included in the $100 ticket is a tour of Presley's jet and a walk through the entertainment complex, which houses exhibits and artifacts related to Presley. Viewers will be able to ask questions during the tours.
Graceland typically hosts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, but it has seen a drop in visitors during the virus outbreak. Graceland was closed for several weeks last year and is now open for limited-capacity, in-person tours.