Mississippi Bar honors Slaughter-Harvey for her lifetime of service

The Mississippi Bar presented Constance Slaughter-Harvey of Forest with its Lifetime Achievement Award during their 2018 Annual Meeting. The Bar presents the Lifetime Achievement Award to those individuals who have devoted service to the public, profession and the administration of justice over the span of a professional career. 

Slaughter-Harvey was born in Jackson and raised in Forest.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science at Tougaloo College in 1967, where she was elected the first female student government president, and her law degree from the University of Mississippi Law School in 1970, where she was the first African-American woman to receive a law degree. Upon graduation she became a Staff Attorney with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Slaughter-Harvey has served as executive director of Southern Legal Rights; Director of East Mississippi Legal Services; State Fair Hearing Officer under Governor Cliff Finch; Director of Human Development under Governor William Winter; Assistant Secretary of State for Elections and Public Lands and General Counsel under Secretary of State Dick Molpus; and adjunct professor at Tougaloo College for 35 years.  She is president of the Slaughter Memorial Foundation, an after-school tutoring service for at-risk children, and founder and president of the Legacy Education and Community Empowerment Foundation, an education and empowerment program for youth and families in her hometown of Forest.

Over the course of her career, Slaughter-Harvey has promoted civil and human rights causes like voter registration, desegregation in the Mississippi State Highway Patrol, and high quality legal representation for minorities. She is the first African-American female judge in Mississippi.  The Constance Slaughter-Harvey Endowed Chair in Political Science at Tougaloo College was established in her honor, and the Black Law Students Association Chapter at the University of Mississippi was named in her honor. She is the only female out of nine law students who founded the National Black Law Student Association in 1968.

She is the recipient of the ABA’s Margaret Brent Award and The Mississippi Bar’s Susie Blue Buchanan Award, which are the highest honors bestowed on female attorneys. She has received over 900 awards, including awards from the Mississippi Women Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association, The Mississippi Bar, Girl Scouts of America, the University of Mississippi, Millsaps College, Mississippi University for Women, Mississippi State University, Rotary International, National Black Caucus, Catholic Charities, and others.  She has been inducted into the halls of fame for the National Bar Association, Tougaloo College, the University of Mississippi Law School, and the University of Mississippi. She serves as president of the Scott County Bar Association, is the former president of the Magnolia Bar Association, and is a former Mississippi Bar Commissioner. She is a lifetime member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Girl Scouts, American Bar Foundation, Mississippi Bar Foundation, Magnolia Bar Foundation, NAACP, National Bar Foundation and others.