The Root 100
The ROOT 100 recognizes emerging and established African-American leaders who are making extraordinary contributions. The ROOT 100 celebrates leadership, creativity, service, and, above all, excellence.
Age40 years old years old
Claim to Fame Director of Litigation, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
Bio As the Associate Director of Litigation for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, 41-year-old Debo Adegbile handles cases that range from the criminal to the political, economic, and educational—wading through the complex regulations and legal decisions that shape our laws in this country. A staunch defender of civil rights, Adegbile graduated from NYU Law School. This June he argued a case before the Supreme Court that preserved key provisions the Voting Rights Act—a major civil rights milestone that was challenged in Austin, Texas. «It's fair to say this case was brought to tear the heart out of the Voting Rights Act,» said Adegbile after winning the decision 8 to 1, «and today that effort failed.
Quote I think it would be a mistake to equate progress, which we acknowledge and embrace, with the idea that there are no more lingering problems in the area of voting, and I think you're right to say that in many respects, discrimination takes a different form today, but discrimination is no less painful if it's practiced through sophisticated methods than it is when it was practiced before the more blunt approaches of the days of Jim Crow.