Media gallery

The Constitution and Civil Rights

Monday, September 27, 2021 | 5-6 p.m. | Watkins Room, Trone Student Center

Presented by the Riley Institute and Department of Politics and International Affairs

In recognition of Constitution Day, Allison Riggs, co-executive director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, spoke about the United States Constitution and how it’s been interpreted to expand and uphold civil rights, especially voting rights. She then sat down with politics professor Teresa Cosby for a discussion and student Q&A session.

About our speakers

Allison Riggs

Allison Riggs is co-Executive Director and leads the voting rights program at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. Her voting rights work over the last decade at SCSJ has been focused on fighting for fair redistricting plans, fighting against voter suppression, and advocating for electoral reforms that would expand access to voting. She has litigated redistricting cases on behalf of State NAACP Conferences in Texas, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina. In 2018, she argued the Texas redistricting case in the United States Supreme Court, and in 2019, she argued the North Carolina partisan gerrymandering case in the Supreme Court. Allison works closely with grassroots organizations and communities of color as they seek to advance their political and civil rights. She received her undergraduate, Master’s Degree and J.D. from the University of Florida.

Teresa Nesbitt Cosby

Teresa Nesbitt Cosby is associate professor of politics and international affairs at Furman University, specializing in constitutional law and racial and ethnic politics. Cosby was the law clerk of retired United States Magistrate Judge William M. Catoe, Jr., she served as an assistant deputy attorney general for the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, and she was the executive director of Legal Services of South Carolina and the former Legal Services of Western Carolina. She also served as the executive director of the Black Family Land Trust, a six-state program. Cosby received her B.A. degree from the Howard University School of Communications and her J.D. from Howard University School of Law.