Boyd Barnett Fellowship Program in Legal Advocacy and Racial Justice

The Boyd Barnett Fellowship Program provides Chicago-based organizers, activists, and advocates working on issues of injustice in Black and brown communities with access to legal education and advocacy training. This program was developed after extensive discussions with community partners and organizers about the ways Northwestern Pritzker Law could be responsive to the needs of Black and brown community organizers and activists in the Chicago area.

Fellows are selected by a committee of organizers and law faculty through an application process that evaluates how potential fellows will use the fellowship to help build power in Black and brown communities and ensure that those who are closest to the problem of racial injustice are part of the solutions. 

2022-2023 Boyd Barnett Fellows

Awards Ceremony

Thursday, November 16
6:30 pm
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
Rubloff Buildling, 8th Floor


Mayor Brandon Johnson
Senator Robert Peters


Jorge Agustin
Elizeth Arguelles Perez
Kennedy Bartley
Emma Gonzalez
Thomas Hagan
Sara Heymann
Assata Lewis
Immanuel Mitchell-Sodipe
Crista E Noël
Nathan Palmer
Xanat Sobrevilla
Arewa Karen Winters

About Rekia Boyd and Ferdinand Barnett

The fellowship program honors two Chicagoans whose lives deeply affected Chicago’s Black and brown communities—Rekia Boyd and Ferdinand Barnett. Ms. Boyd was a twenty-two-year-old Black woman who was walking down the street with her friends when an off-duty police officer perceived the group as a threat and shot and killed her. Ms. Boyd’s death helped galvanize activism that has shaped Chicago in recent years. Ferdinand Barnett was one of the first Black graduates of Northwestern Law. After graduating from the Law School, Mr. Barnett was an anti-lynching activist and civil rights attorney, as well as the husband of legendary journalist and activist Ida B. Wells. This program honors the legacies of two Black Chicagoans who lived during different eras, but who whose legacies inspire the city’s current racial justice movements.