May 18-24, 2001
Back Issues
Waters' mission runs deep
Two graduates honored for their service to humanity
Student aids the homeless

Mellon winner redefines "Jim Crow" era

Pre-med student shares his passion for music
Fast-track grad driven to help his family
Student leads effort to install Braille on Lawn room doors
Creative recycling: Students convert crate into studio
Lawson lives richly
Can you go home again? Issues facing international students
Education delayed but not denied
Weaver finds election laws discriminatory
Quilter gets A+
Students to go abroad on Fulbright scholarships
Weddle will research Peruvian women
Graduate rich in lessons learned
Anthony defender of public good
Affinnih plays her cards strategically
After earning degree in two years, graduate going for two more
Student develops new sign language system
Student trio pushes for late-night joe
Sarah Anthony
Rebecca Arrington
Sarah Anthony

Anthony defender of public good

By Charlotte Crystal

Eight years ago, Sarah Anthony, who’s graduating from the University’s School of Law this month, helped Billings, Montana, show the world its religious tolerance in the face of anti-Semitic violence.

When a local Ku Klux Klan member threw a brick through a Jewish family’s front window in Decembaer 1993, the Billings Coalition for Human Rights, which she chaired, printed and distributed 10,000 drawings of a menorah around the city.

People of all faiths posted the paper menorahs in their windows that year in a show of solidarity that made national news.

Anthony has been seeking ways to serve others since she was a teen, when she cared for severely retarded adults and worked for an Easter Seals program in Connecticut. At Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., she studied with Paul Wellstone, then a political science professor and now a U.S. senator, who taught classes such as “Grassroots Movements and Protest Politics.” She also took a course from liberation theologist Robert McAfee Brown that examined the efforts liberal Catholic priests were making in Central America to hasten social, economic and political change.

Anthony graduated from Carleton in 1988 with a major in Latin American studies. After college, she set off alone for a three-month trip to El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala, armed with only her college Spanish and a notebook.

While taken by the revolutionary fervor of the times, she learned she was better suited for other struggles closer to home.

Wellstone helped Anthony land a job as a grassroots organizer with Montana People’s Action in Billings, where she worked with a poor neighborhood composed mainly of native Americans and whites.

Enter Julian Bond, chair of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and U.Va. history professor. He spoke in Billings at an event her group sponsored, and she asked him abaout law school. Bond encouraged her to pursue public-interest law at U.Va., which she did.

Anthony won a $15,000 Mortimer Caplin and Linda A. Fairstein Public Service Fellowship, which provided tuition assistance for her final year in law school and also will supplement her salary for two years, enabling her to take a low-paying job in public-interest law.

That job is at Fair Trial Initiative, a small group of lawyers in Chapel Hill, N.C., who are concerned that the public defense provided to indigent defendants charged with capital murder — and facing the death penalty — falls short of what the authors of the U.S. Constitution intended.

“Did you know that defense attorneys have, on average, only three hours to prepare for each capital case?” she asks. “That is woefully inadequate representation.”

She plans to do something about that.



© Copyright 2001 by the Rector and Visitors
of the University of Virginia

UVa Home Page UVa Events Calendar Top News UVa Home Page