Richard H. Dinkins ’74
B.A., Denison University
J.D., Vanderbilt University
Citation awarded June, 1999
Richard Dinkins is a prominent Nashville attorney whose firm, Williams & Dinkins, specializes in civil rights cases. In 1998, Richard was instrumental in the historic settlement of a 43-year old school desegregation case against the Nashville School System that had resulted in nearly three decades of court supervision of the Metro schools.
Following his graduation from Denison, Richard enrolled in the Law School of Vanderbilt University, earning the J.D. in 1977. He has been in private practice in Nashville since that time in the firm that would become Williams and Dinkins.
Richard is a member of a number of professional associations, including the American, National, and Nashville Bar Associations, and he serves on the Board of Governors of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association. He is Cooperating Attorney for the NAACP legal Defense Fund, Minority Business Enterprise Legal Defense Fund, and the American Civil Liberties Union Voting Rights Project. He is a member of the Finance Council of the Tennessee Democratic Party, Commissioner of the Davidson County Election Commission and Trustee of First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill. Richard served as an observer of the first elections of the Republic of Namibia in 1989, after the abolishment of apartheid. He traveled to Israel as part of a group of African American community leaders in 1993. Richard has served Denison as Vice President of the Black Alumni Association, as a Career Advisor, and as a student internship sponsor.
In recognition of his accomplishments, Richard was named an Outstanding Young Man of American in 1986, and he received the Distinguished Service Award of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators in 1989, and the Civil Rights Leadership Award of the Nashville NAACP in 1991.
Richard and his wife Charlotte have two young children, Zuri and Ian.