Thomas Todd

Attorney and Activist Thomas N. Todd

Civil Rights Attorney Thomas “TNT” Todd to Address Fellowship Dinner

December 17, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Famed civil rights attorney Thomas N. Todd will speak at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellowship Dinner on January 24 at 5 p.m. in the Young Main Lounge of the Memorial Center (104 University St., Bloomington). Known as “TNT” for his dynamic oratory skills, Todd will give a speech titled “Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr.: More Than A Dreamer.”

Tickets for the event, co-sponsored Illinois Wesleyan and the United Community Gospel Singers of Bloomington and Normal, Illinois, are $13 for adults and $6.50 for Illinois Wesleyan students and children 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Illinois Wesleyan University Bookstore in Hansen Student Center (300 Beecher St., Bloomington), or by calling the bookstore at (309) 556-3059, Illinois Wesleyan Director of Government and Community Relations Carl Teichman at (309) 556-3429, or the Rev. James Sims at (309) 828-4602.

Tickets are available until January 20, 2010. There will be no ticket sales at the door.

Todd is known as a pioneering civil rights lawyer, earning his law degree from Southern University’s School of Law in 1963. After serving as a lawyer in the U.S. Army, he joined the U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago, Illinois in 1967, and made history by developing the first criminal case against a Chicago policeman for deprivation of an individual's civil rights. In 1969, Todd organized the first Civil Rights Office at the U.S. Attorney's Office. 

Todd was the first full-time black law professor at Northwestern University, where he taught from 1970 to 1974. He has argued cases before the Louisiana Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Military Appeals, the Illinois Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.

A powerful spokesman for civil rights, Todd was president of the Chicago chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1971 and president of Operation PUSH from 1983 to 1984, and spoke during Harold Washington’s mayoral campaign in Chicago. 

Now semi-retired, Todd is the recipient of more than 500 awards and honorary degrees, including being inducted into the Southern University Law Center Hall of Fame, National Black Alumni Hall of Fame and a Lifetime Achievement Award.

For additional information contact Carl Teichman at 309-556-3429 or cteich@iwu.edu.