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Jade Craig

Leading the Way

By Joy Y. Wang

Spring 2012

Jade Craig ’12, the editor-in-chief of the Columbia Journal of Race and Law, explains that he is fascinated with “the power of community development to change life outcomes.” This past fall, Craig helped organize the journal’s annual symposium, which delved into issues of inequality and economic injustice. Panelists at the event discussed the mortgage foreclosure crisis and how banking and tax policies affect communities of color.

The topics hold particular resonance for the Mississippi native. In the three years prior to entering law school, Craig taught kindergarten at Ella Darling Elementary School in Greenville, Miss., where he saw how poverty and racial segregation affected the lives of children and families.

“I knew I made a difference in the classroom, but when I sent the kids home at 2:45, they were still going back into a divided community,” says Craig. One of the reasons he enrolled at Columbia Law School, he adds, was to learn about methods for tackling inequality on a systemic level.

Craig recently served as co-chair of the Civil Rights Law Society, and after graduating in May, he will take on two clerkships: first with Judge Damon Keith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Detroit, and then with Judge Carlton Reeves of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. Craig is particularly looking forward to the chance to make a difference in his hometown judicial district. “Returning to Mississippi will give me the opportunity to use my law degree to understand the role of the federal courts in ensuring justice in my home state,” says Craig.