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Capri Maddox (JD '01) Honored with Beacon of Justice Award

On April 18, 2024, Pepperdine Caruso Law alumna Capri Maddox (JD ’01) was honored by the Friends of the Los Angeles County Law Library community with the Beacon of Justice Award. The prestigious award recognizes leaders who exemplify a commitment to advocacy and a passion for justice. Maddox serves as the executive director of the Los Angeles Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department (LA Civil Rights). Under her leadership, the LA Civil Rights office has led the award-winning campaign "LA is for Everyone," which has been translated into 21 languages.

Maddox has a long history of dedicating her life and work to efforts that address inequities, and creating opportunities for the underrepresented and disenfranchised. She has led initiatives to create foster care diversion programs, organized the City Attorney Faith-Based Council, and coordinated school safety projects with the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Throughout her career, Maddox has also maintained strong ties with Caruso Law.  She has served as a preceptor since the the program's inception, and continues to participate in important events at Caruso Law, including serving as the keynote speaker for the For People of Color Conference in 2019.

Dean Chalak Guinses (JD ’12) had the honor of introducing Maddox at the award ceremony and highlighted their many years of friendship and mentorship. “Capri has been a guiding light for me, and for many others. Since we met, she’s been ending every conversation with “keep the faith, keep the fight. Capri, thank you for modeling that and being a beacon of light and justice for us all” 

The Los Angeles County Law Library was transformed into an elegant dinner hall for the event, which was attended by distinguished leaders within the law community, as well as friends and supporters of the law library and its initiatives.  During her acceptance address, Maddox encouraged the attendees to continue the exceptional and challenging work of protecting and promoting justice.

“Law to me is a tool. I didn’t get into this business to spend a lot of time with lawyers and be in this space so much as it was to make a difference," Maddox said. "The life I live is an answer to prayer. We are able to bring cases against folks that violate your civil rights in areas of commerce, education, employment and housing. We also have upward mobility programming where we help people get into medical school, to help people become homeowners, help people get into law school. We are very grateful for the work that we do.

“I’m very grateful for my beloved Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, you all have been rolling with me for 25 years almost, wherever I am and wherever I go, and I really appreciate it.

“We think about champions and champions of justice. You all are champions of justice. The one thing you need to remember is that while you’re in these spaces, while you have the privilege of making a difference and making an impact and having success and all of these titles, be sure to take someone with you. So please use your brilliance and leave your imprint on that next generation of leaders.

“I just want you all to know that I’m fueled by a love for the people. That’s what drove me to the career. Drove me past some of my fears; fear of public speaking, fear of so many things but I want you to know that I stretched beyond my comfort zone to take on this assignment and have the privilege of working with Mayor Karen Bass because of my desire to make a difference and of course be in service to others. I’m able to be here as my authentic self in service to others to lift a better Los Angeles.

"I will gladly accept this award on behalf of the LA Civil Rights Department and on behalf of the Mayor and my fellow city attorneys. I accept this award on behalf of my beloved family and I accept this award as a reminder that God answers prayer.”

Capri Maddox at LA Law Library Awards