FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Honors University of Arkansas alumna Justyce Yuille, who completed a Bachelor of Arts in political science, African and African American studies and criminal justice, cum laude, in 2020, is one of 10 students nationwide selected to participate in the Marshall-Motley Scholars Program.
Funded by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Marshall-Motley Scholars Program was launched last year to create a pipeline that “will endow the South with the next generation of civil rights lawyers trained to provide legal advocacy of unparalleled excellence in the pursuit of racial justice.”
In exchange for a full law school scholarship and professional development opportunities, Marshall-Motley Scholars commit to devoting the first eight years of their career to practicing civil rights law in service to Black communities in the South.
“During her time at the University of Arkansas, Justyce distinguished herself academically, organizing her studies in such a way that she gained a broad understanding of the complicated relationship between race, social justice and the legal system, preparation that will serve her well as she studies law,” said interim Chancellor Charles F. Robinson.
Yuille credits her passion to pursue racial justice to her faith and her family, who have long been community leaders and changemakers.
“My grandma Hazel Bogard is 97, and during the Civil Rights Movement she served as president of the NAACP chapter in Little Rock,” Yuille said. “She integrated Bishop Street –– a white neighborhood –– and the Ku Klux Klan surrounded her house and tried to force her to leave town. But she persevered, and that inspires me to continue the fight for racial justice.”
Yuille served as the first vice president of the UA Chapter of the NAACP, as well as the first African American chief justice in campus history for the UA Associated Student Government. She interned at the Terrorism Research Center and Fulbright Advising Center and was a Black Alumni Society Scholar from 2018-2020. Active in the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Food Pantry, Razorback Food Recovery and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., she was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award by the Black Students Association and Black Alumni Scholars in 2019.
After completing her degree in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, Yuille was selected for a prestigious internship with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in 2020, which offered a front-row seat to history during the summer of civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd. She also served as a marketing and research intern at the Woman’s National Democratic Club Educational Foundation.
Additionally, Yuille was an AmeriCorps teaching fellow for Great Oaks Charter School in Wilmington, Delaware, where she tutored 125 students in English and social studies. Currently, she is a research and communication intern for Issue One, a cross-partisan political reform group based in Washington, D.C. In her work there she briefs Supreme Court oral arguments and discussions related to FEC v. Ted Cruz for Senate. She also serves as an intern for Nate Fleming’s campaign for District of Columbia Council At-Large.
“Justyce was a standout student here on campus, and I’m delighted to see her selected for this prestigious honor,” said Lynda Coon, dean of the Honors College. “We look forward to following her career as a legal champion for racial justice.”
Yuille has not yet decided which law school she will attend but is committed to selecting a Southern school.
“Eventually, I’d like to become a judge,” she said.