It is with great sadness that I and Special Needs Network mourn the loss of Vernon Jordan. For over fifty years, Jordan was a social justice pioneer focused on combating racial segregation and advancing civil rights legislation. A graduate of DePaul University and Howard University Law School, Mr. Jordan was a field director for the NAACP and President of the National Urban League.

As one of President Bill Clinton’s close friends and advisors, Mr. Jordan helped champion several key pieces of landmark legislation to improve voting and civil rights protections for African Americans.

As a civil rights attorney, I am particularly grateful for the barriers Mr. Jordan broke that have created unthinkable opportunities for African Americans in law, business and so many industries, many of which were unofficially, and in some cases, officially, off-limits to Blacks. The work I do today as a civil rights attorney, activist, and advocate for underserved populations would not be possible without his trailblazing efforts.

The staff and board of Special Needs and I  have been inspired by and will honor the legacy of, Mr. Jordan by redoubling our efforts to break down barriers for African Americans and people of color, especially those with developmental disabilities.

May he rest in power.

About Special Needs Network, Inc.

Special Needs Network is one of the nation’s leading social justice, autism, and disability rights organizations. Based in Los Angeles, CA, we provide innovative direct service and online programs, providing legislative and policy advocacy and resources to hundreds of thousands of families annually. We are a diverse organization dedicated to anti-racist policies and dismantling structural barriers. We are on a mission to create equitable pathways for marginalized individuals and those with disabilities to live their most productive lives.