established advocates

Case Western Reserve and the institutions from which it was formed, have a rich heritage of challenging inequality. Through the efforts of the Social Justice Institute, the university is committed to following in the legacy of its social justice pioneers. Below is a sampling of a few of the university's most influential leaders.

Charles Backus Storrs, president of Western Reserve College and a professor of theology, was an active champion of the abolition of slavery in the 1830s.

Robert MorseRobert W. Morse, former president of Case Western Reserve, denounced the National Guard's shooting of protestors at Kent State University in 1970. He characterized the police response an "act of assassination against American youth" at a time when few university administrators dared entangle themselves in social movements.

Jean Donovan was a volunteer and missionary who helped provide necessities for struggling El Salvadorians as the country was in the midst of civil war. The graduate of Case Western Reserve's Weatherhead School of Management was murdered alongside three nuns by a U.S.-trained military death squad during the deadly war.

Fred Gray, a civil rights attorney and Case Western Reserve alumnus, represented Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man. Gray was also Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s first civil-rights lawyer.

Louis StokesLouis Stokes, a congressman and Case Western Reserve alumnus, was the first African American member of Congress from the state of Ohio. His career focused on advocacy for the poor and disadvantaged, especially those in urban America. Among his other legislative efforts was his sponsorship of programs for minority professionals in health, science and engineering.

After completing his 33-year career in Congress, Stokes joined the faculty of Case Western Reserve's Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences as a distinguished visiting professor.

Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a congresswoman and Case Western Reserve alumna, was one of Ohio's modern-day political pioneers. An advocate of health care coverage for low- and middle-income people and a leader in the fight against predatory lending practices, Jones was also the first African American woman from Ohio elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

get involved!

To learn more about social justice initiatives at Case Western Reserve and how you can be involved, contact the Social Justice Institute at 216.368.2515,, or leave feedback.

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Historic photograph of the campus that became
Case Western Reserve University

where we've been

Case Western Reserve has a rich history. Learn more about the university's past