The foundation also is contributing $2 million to Emory University to support other student initiatives through Emory College and Winship Cancer Center.
Emory President Gregory L. Fenves called the Southern Company grant a “visionary investment.”
“By making this historic and timely gift to Emory University, they have sent a powerful message about our shared commitment to civil rights and social justice,” Fenves said.
Emory Law Dean Mary Anne Bobinski said the grant will provide the critical funding necessary to fulfill a key strategic priority for the law school.
“The law school’s new strategic plan establishes civil rights and social justice as key areas of focus for research, teaching and community engagement,” Bobinski said. “Southern Company Foundation’s record-breaking gift will enable Emory Law to accelerate our work in these critically important areas and to address long-standing challenges related to civil rights and social justice through research and university and community partnerships.”
According to the university, the newly established center will serve as a hub for interdisciplinary scholarship, research, teaching, evidence-based policy reform, and community outreach that improves the lives of individuals who have experienced violations of their civil rights and been impacted by social injustice.
Earlier this year, Darren Hutchinson was named the inaugural John Lewis Chair for Civil Rights and Social Justice at the School of Law.
The philanthropically funded John Lewis Chair for Civil Rights and Social Justice is intended to serve as a lasting tribute to the legacy of “good trouble” advocated by the late congressman from Georgia’s Fifth District and establish Emory Law as a leader in teaching, research, and community engagement related to civil rights and social justice.
Hutchinson was recruited from the University of Florida, where he was the Raymond & Miriam Ehrlich Eminent Scholar Chair at the Levin College of Law.
“We are incredibly pleased that Emory has further prioritized issues of social justice in our society with the recruitment of Professor Hutchinson as the John Lewis Chair,” said Chris Womack, CEO of Georgia Power, a unit of Southern Company. “Through this new center, we now look forward to helping Emory Law build programs to advance civil rights, equity, and justice in our community and nationwide.”