YWCA Recognizes Law Professor’s Efforts for Racial Justice

The YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh has recognized Assistant Clinical Law Professor Tracey McCants Lewis among its five 2015 honorees for the 24th annual Racial Justice Awards.

Tracey McCants Lewis

“The committee was greatly impressed by your efforts to eliminate racism and promote equity, and we are delighted to publicly recognize your commitment,” wrote Magdeline E. Jensen, chief executive officer of the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh, in McCants Lewis’ notification letter.

McCants Lewis, who also serves as assistant director of clinical legal education for the School of Law, was nominated for the award by attorney Marshall Dayan, an assistant federal public defender in the Capital Habeas Unit of the Western District of Pennsylvania.

“I’m very humbled to receive this recognition for the civil rights work that my students and I do in the Greater Pittsburgh region,” said McCants Lewis, who received her award at the Nov. 12 awards banquet. “I’m not engaged in this work for accolades or recognition. It is my heart and soul that drive me to use my God-given talents to fight for and create opportunities of racial equality for our clients.”

The Racial Justice Awards are designated through the YWCA Center for Race and Gender Equity, which seeks to promote “a society in which all people receive equal treatment and have equal access in the workplace, public service, the justice system, the classroom and throughout the Greater Pittsburgh community.”

At Duquesne, McCants Lewis teaches in the Civil Rights Clinic and the Federal Litigation Clinic. Her scholarship focuses on critical race theory, feminist legal theory and the application of legal storytelling in clinical legal education.

In 2013, McCants Lewis was appointed to the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board, and she served as chair of Allegheny County’s Courts Administration Vision Team Committee in 2012. That same year, she received the NAACP Pittsburgh chapter’s Home S. Brown Award for Legal Service as well as the Urban League Young Professionals of Greater Pittsburgh Decade of Dedication award.

“We are excited to have presented the YWCA Racial Justice Award to these champions of social justice in recognition of their efforts to promote equity, freedom and justice,” added Jensen.