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Hometown: Hattiesburg, MS
high school: Hattiesburg HS
college: University of Virginia
MAJOR: Political and Social Thought
GRAD. PROGRAM: Columbia Law School (2012, JD)
Jade Craig was born and raised in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. As the child of a housekeeper and a city sanitation worker, he graduated from high school with honors in 2002. He was a National Coca-Cola Scholar, a National Achievement Scholar and was named Mississippi’s Most Valuable Student in recognition of his community service and student leadership.
Jade graduated from the University of Virginia in 2006 with a double major in French and Political and Social Thought. While at UVA, Jade was an active student leader and served as a member of the University Guide Service, where he led and developed a tour on the history of African Americans at UVA. As co-chair of the Black Leadership Institute, he helped start the university’s annual black graduation recognition ceremony. He also led presentations on the history of African Americans and students with disabilities at UVA in order to foster understanding and a commitment to diversity. The university alumni association honored him with the Sean Bryant Memorial Award for “speaking up for those unheard.” Former university president John T. Casteen, III, highlighted his contributions to the university during graduation exercises in 2006.
Upon graduation, Jade joined Teach For America and returned to his home state, where he taught kindergarten for three years in the Mississippi Delta. While serving as a corps member, Jade was selected from over 500 corps members to deliver the keynote address at the closing ceremonies of Teach For America’s institute in Houston. He and his classroom were also featured in a national recruitment video and promotional campaign. By the end of his tenure in teaching, Jade had been nominated to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and was awarded the inaugural Roger Malkin Fellowship, an award given to one outstanding second-year corps member in recognition of leadership as a corps member within the Delta region.
In 2009, Jade enrolled in the J.D. program at Columbia Law School. While at Columbia, Jade was named Best Oral Advocate in the regional competition of the Frederick Douglass Moot Court program, which specializes in civil rights law and advocacy. Jade served as editor-in-chief of the Columbia Journal of Race and Law and co-chair of the law school’s Civil Rights Law Society. As a law student, he served as a law clerk at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and interned at the Fair Housing Justice Center.
Upon graduation from Columbia, Jade served as a law clerk to the Honorable Damon J. Keith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Detroit, Michigan and the Honorable Carlton W. Reeves of the Southern District of Mississippi in Jackson. In 2014, Jade received a presidential appointment in the Obama Administration to serve as Special Policy Advisor for the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Washington, D.C. He coordinated engagement with key fair housing and civil rights stakeholders and assisted in the progress of the Office’s major initiatives, including increasing the government’s commitment to helping communities engage in stronger fair housing planning under the Fair Housing Act.
Jade Craig is currently an associate at the law firm of Phelps Dunbar, LLP in Tampa, Florida. He specializes in commercial litigation and labor and employment matters. He is admitted to practice law in New York, Mississippi and Florida.Back to www.ronbrown.org Scholars