The more than 200 people gathered at the Seelbach Hilton Hotel Sept. 15 for the 2016 Brandeis Medal dinner got the opportunity to hear from a descendant of Justice Louis Brandeis himself.
The Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush is a great-grandson of Justice Brandeis. When Brandeis Medal recipient and Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan was unable to attend the event, Raushenbush agreed to share some insights about his family’s legacy of justice and public service.
“This is the constant theme of our family — that nothing matters if it doesn’t serve the people,” said Raushenbush, who is a Baptist pastor serving as senior vice president of public engagement at Auburn Seminary in New York City.
Raushenbush’s past roles include executive editor of global spirituality and religion for The Huffington Post and editor of BeliefNet. He is former associate dean of religious life and the chapel at Princeton University and co-founder of PORDIR, the Program on Religion, Diplomacy, and International Relations at the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University.
Brandeis’ groundbreaking Brandeis Brief — in which he referenced social science and economic studies when arguing a case — contributed to his reputation as “the people’s attorney.” And Raushenbush said that theme of staying connected to the real world has lived on in his family as they work for justice in their various careers.
He also spoke about Justice Brandeis’ concern for the people in his own community and his love of Louisville and the University of Louisville.
“He cared deeply about the institution, and he cared that it was in this place that mattered so much to him,” Raushenbush said. “If you really want to understand Brandeis … you come back to Louisville.”
And if you want to honor Brandeis’ legacy, work to make Louisville a place of justice and caring, he said.
The Brandeis School of Law did just that last night, as it donated more than 100 meals to The Healing Place, an addiction recovery program in Louisville. The meals were left over from guests who registered for the event but did not end up attending.
“We are so appreciative that Rev. Raushenbush shared some insights about his family’s commitment to justice,” said Dean Susan Duncan. “The law school is proud to carry on that legacy of being an engaged member of the community.”