The David Grossman Memorial Lecture, entitled “Eviction, Displacement, and the Fight to Keep Communities Together,” was held at HLS on April 5. Grossman ’88, who died last July, was a lawyer and teacher dedicated to serving the poor, and he was Director of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau for close to a decade.
In introductory remarks to a packed room in Austin Hall, Dean Martha Minow reflected on Grossman’s work “strengthening tools and spirit, both necessary for helping people in need, for changing laws and enforcing laws, and changing the politics around those laws.”
“With formidable intellect, constant courage, David brought tremendous humility, humor, friendship, outstanding sunglasses to every encounter, and he elevated allies and opponents alike,” Minow said. “He modeled what it is to engage in the world with respect for every person, even if you disagree with them.”
Minow introduced the lecturer, sociologist Matt Desmond, as “a champion for the goals and the values and the humanity exemplified by David Grossman and advanced by him every day.”
Desmond, a MacArthur “Genius” grant winner who published the book “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” in March, is John L. Loeb Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University and co-director of the Justice and Poverty Project.