Today, I am excited to share that the B-RELYT Organization, my non-profit has been providing Math and Science skills to our pilot school, Loren Miller Elementary School since December 2017. Currently, The B-RELYT organization’s team consists of Stan, Isaiah, Tyler, and myself(www.b-relyt.org). We are all honored, humbled and grateful to be a part of the philanthropic world and have seen first hand the benefits of strengthening Math and Science skills for underserved students. Therefore, today’s B-RELYT Blog is dedicated to the founder of the elementary school Judge Loren E. Miller.
Loren Miller was born on January 20, 1903 in Pender, Nebraska to John Miller, a former slave and Nora Herbaugh a white Midwesterner. Judge Miller attended the University of Kansas, Howard University and Washburn University (Topeka, Kansas) graduating in 1928 with a Bachelor’s of law degree.
He was considered one of the leading civil rights attorney in the United States, focusing in the field of housing discrimination. Miller argued some of the most historic civil rights cases and was the chief counsel before court in the 1948 decision that led to the outlawing of racial restrictive covenants, Shelley v. Kraemer. Miller argued this racial covenant case alongside prominent Black attorney’s, such as Thurgood Marshall. Before 1948, these racial restrictive covenants were legally used for segregationist purposes. The purpose of an exclusionary covenant was to prohibit a buyer of property from reselling, leasing or transferring the property to members of a given race, ethnic origin and/or religion, as specified in the title deed.
Miller moved to Los Angeles, CA in 1929 and was known for preferring political activism over the law. In 1930, he was the editor of the California Eagle, the oldest African American newspaper in Los Angeles, which he purchased in 1951. The California Eagle was a strong platform for Miller to continue to press for the complete integration of African Americans in every sector of society, and to protest all forms of Jim Crow. Miller had represented more than 100 plaintiffs seeking to invalidate housing covenants that prevented Blacks from purchasing or renting housing in certain areas. He also would work on high-profile civil cases, and at the request of Malcolm X was called to represent, the aftermath of the 1962 street battle where six unarmed Muslims were shot down, “in cold blood” by officers of the Los Angeles Police Department. In 1964, Governor Edmund G. Brown appointed Miller to the Superior Court of California, where he served until his death on July 14, 1967.
I want you to know it is because of Judge Miller that the area surrounding his school, Loren Miller Elementary School is mixed with all races. I had never heard of Judge Miller before the B-RELYT organization started working with his students. It is truly an honor to serve a school where it’s leader made an everlasting impact in society.
Judge Miller’s Legacy and Honors
In 1968, Loren Miller Elementary School in South Central Los Angeles was named after Judge Miller (a 1.2 Million dollar project).
The Loren Miller Bar Association (LMBA) was founded on August 1968 in Seattle, Washington. LMBA is a strong platform that confronts institutionalized racism and the social and economic disparities affecting the African American community.
The Loren Miller Legal Services Award(LMLSA) is given annually to a lawyer who has demonstrated long-term commitment to legal services and who has personally done significant work in extending legal services to the poor. This award was founded in 1977 by the State Bar of California. Catherine Blakemore was the 2016 recipient of the LMLSA.
Judge Miller has three generations of Judgeship in his family, Miller’s son (deceased) and granddaughter.
Sources for the information in this B-RELYT Blog: www.blackpast.org, Wikipedia and LaTasha Harris (Parent leader for Loren Miller Elementary School).