Today for Black History Month, we are honoring Esmeralda Simmons. Esmeralda is a civil rights attorney and founder of the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College, which was founded in 1986. She focuses her work on racial injustice and human rights of African Americans, helping those who face this discrimination. For 34 years, she has been the executive director of the center. Esmerelda has since retired on Jan. 20, 2020, and focuses her work elsewhere while still using her qualifications to help others in many different ways. Esmerelda has achieved many goals over the years of her being in the field. She was named New York state Woman Of Distinction in 2014 and the Haywood Burns award from the New York State Bar Association in 2018 with a reception held in her honor.
Born in 1950 in Brooklyn, New York, Esmeralda has spent many years in Brooklyn until she moved to Queens for about five years before moving back to Brooklyn, where she currently lives. Esmerelda has also graduated from Hunter College, CUNY and Brooklyn Law School. She was also a Revson Fellow at Columbia University. Over the years, she has been involved in many movements to help the community. She has been in progressive political causes and political community empowerment movements for more than 40 years.
Since retirement, she does lots of volunteer work at the board of directors, Council of Elders for African Cultural Heritage, a climate justice organization, an early childhood educational institution and many more. She has also served in many voting-rights act cases and has added victories from the U.S Supreme Court to her belt of achievements. Esmeralda has done so much for the black community and will not let retirement stop her from helping her community.