Completed in 2013, Louis L. Redding is one of the newest completed additions to the University's residence halls. Louis L. Redding joins Eliphalet Gilbert, Russell, Lane & Thompson on the Harrington Beach, with a sand volleyball court and lighted turf field behind Perkins Student Center (home to The Scrounge, Dunkin' Donuts, and The Hen Zone).
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Louis Redding was the first African American attorney admitted to the Delaware Bar, and he played an important role in the legal case that led to the desegregation of the University of Delaware. For more than two decades, Redding was the only non-white attorney in Delaware. Throughout his 57-year career, Redding championed civil rights issues in Delaware, successfully handling cases that challenged discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, and education. Redding became a public defender for the State of Delaware in 1965 and continued in the post until his retirement in 1984.
In 1950, Redding represented ten African-American applicants before the Delaware Court Chancery against the University of Delaware. These students were refused admittance to the University of Delaware on the basis of their race. That suit - Parker v. University of Delaware - resulted in the full court-ordered desegregation of all educational programs at the University of Delaware, signaling a significant new chapter in the modern history of the university.
Another of Redding's cases - Belton v. Gebhart - was combined with those from several other states to become the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education. Redding was part of the legal team led by Thurgood Marshall that argued Brown before the United States Supreme Court. Redding also successfully argued Burton v. Wilmington Parking Authority before that court in 1961, striking down additional blows against segregation within public accommodations.
After the death of Louis Redding in 1998, the University of Delaware memorialized him with the Louis L. Redding Chair for the Study of Law and Public Policy. The annual Louis L. Redding Lecture – sponsored by the Office of Equity and Inclusion, the Center for Black Culture, and the departments of English and History – was named in his honor, as was the Louis L. Redding Diversity Award, sponsored by the President’s Diversity Initiative.