Connie Rice


Connie Rice is at the forefront of social justice battles in Los Angeles. As a Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Advancement Project, Connie has led the crusade for enlightened policing and gang reduction in our community.

Connie's pursuit of excellence began at home: Her father broke racial barriers as a United States Air Force major, and her mother, a teacher, imbued a passion for learning and culture into Connie and her brothers, a zeal that was equal parts vigor and pride. She was raised to look up to women leaders of history: Queen Elizabeth I, Anne Frank, Representative Barbara Jordan.

Connie’s father’s career took them to 17 different homes during her childhood, including periods in England and Japan, but these heroines stayed with her as constant reminders of the high potential of her future.

After college at Harvard and law school at NYU, where she spent summers working on high profile death penalty litigation for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Connie began the work that would win her national acclaim for its attention to civil rights.

Over the course of her career, the “Lady Lawyer,” as Connie would come to be known to the Los Angeles gang members with whom she struck a pioneering partnership, would take on the notoriously racist and sexist LAPD, a transit system that tried to ignore its poorest users, and a public school system that Rice and her cohorts deemed inadequate.

Already a legend based on these achievements alone, Connie is perhaps best known for the 2007 report she co-wrote that has revolutionized the city’s law enforcement policies and outreach to gangs. As a result of her successful work to help transform the LAPD, she has been awarded her very own parking space at headquarters.

Connie is the author of Power Concedes Nothing: One Woman’s Quest for Social Justice in America, from the Kill Zones to the Courtroom.

She has received more than fifty major awards for her leadership and unorthodox approaches to challenging brutality and reversing the raw deal for kids struggling to survive in the thin soil of poverty. She is a graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges and New York University School of Law.

Selected Awards:
Ralph Bunche Humanitarian Award
UCLA’s Black Alumni Network, 2012

Human Dignity Award
Wall Street All-Stars, 2012

John Anson Ford Humanitarian Award 
Los Angeles County, 2002

Peace Prize
California Wellness Foundation, 2001

Connie Rice