By Cheska Torres Ibasan
Civil Rights Scholar Traelon Rodgers ’24 graduated valedictorian with a B.S. in Urban Studies and Public Policy from Dillard University where he also participated in its nationally ranked mock trial team and served as a two-term Student Government Association President.
A native of Arlington, Texas and an alumnus of Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet at Townview — Rodgers continued his commitment to public service by serving as a National Board Member for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and was later elected as the youngest National Assistant Secretary of the Board at just the age of 21.
Rodgers is also a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. — a Divine Nine service fraternity. He was initiated into the Beta Gamma Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. in 2019 and is a Kappa Fellow. He served as the chairman of intake and was recognized as the Undergraduate Brother with the Highest GPA.
Among Rodgers’ numerous accomplishments, he also received the Torchbearer Award, the NAACP NYWC Chairmans Award for creating task forces that addressed social justice issues that impacted youth members in the NAACP nationwide, the City of Dallas Appreciation for Dedication and service to the community, the Texas NAACP State Conference Torch Bearers Award, and the Rice University Best Attorney Award.
“Leadership is compassion, vision, and direction. Leadership means to press on even when it doesn’t feel fun — but most importantly, leadership means that someone is counting on you. A leader with no followers is merely taking a walk,” shares Rodgers.
Most recently, Rodgers was selected to attend the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) conference at Loyola Chicago where he spoke on a panel “Teaching and Learning Constitutional Law in Difficult Times: Reorganizing and Resistance” along with UC Berkeley School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, Loyola Chicago Law Dean Michele Alexandre, and Berkeley Law Professor Kristen Holmquist.
Rodgers is continuing his commitment to social justice at Berkeley Law by working alongside Professor John A. Powell as a Research Assistant at the Othering & Belonging Institute — a research hub for policy and public engagement that brings together diverse stakeholders, researchers, community leaders, policymakers, artists, and communicators to identify and challenge the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society in order to create transformative change.
A notable Civil Rights Scholar, Traelon Rodgers was selected to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s Marshall-Motley Scholars Program, which gives full law school scholarships, training, and post-graduate fellowships to students committed to working for at least eight years oncivil rights in the South after earning their J.D. The 10 recipients — each born or raised in the South — were picked from more than 400 applicants.