Crystal Gavel Awards
John K. Pierre
John K. Pierre is a professor of law and the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Accountability and Evening Division at Southern University Law Center. He was selected to receive a Crystal Gavel Award for his outstanding work and efforts in educating individuals about legal matters through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
Mr. Pierre’s strong background in tax accounting led to a passion for helping families learn about and ultimately achieve financial stability and independence. To that end, he has established a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program site hosted by the Low-Income Taxpayer Law Clinic at SULC. He also worked to establish an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Day each year at the law center, a special day set aside with the goal of reaching large groups of people with an annual income under $50,000 from wages, self-employment or farming income to assist them with tax preparation issues. Because of his foresight, the SULC VITA site was named the Best in the Baton Rouge Area Coalition and was chosen as VITA Site of the Year in 2010. Mr. Pierre also received special recognition for his outstanding public service through the
Stakeholder Partnerships, Education, and Communication (SPEC); VITA; and Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program (TCE) programs.
Additionally, Mr. Pierre was instrumental in establishing SULC as a part of The Path to Financial Independence Strategies National Consortium of Historically Black Colleges and Universities which provides asset building strategies and techniques to neighboring communities. Through this consortium, SULC improves the economic wellbeing of families through building family income and assets; and helps families understand strategies for growing a more sound economic foundation for increasing financial stability. The Financial Independence Program at SULC integrates the VITA, EITC and Individual Development Account (IDA) programs with financial education training to successfully move working families from poverty to increased financial stability.
“The Baton Rouge Bar Association is pleased to submit the nomination of John K. Pierre,” said Ann K. Gregorie, Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Bar Association. “By way of a successful career and a giving, compassionate spirit, hard work and determination, John has been a shining example for his son, Toussaint, who is in his second year of law school at SULC and shares his father’s passion for the law and volunteerism.”
Mr. Pierre earned his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law in Dallas, Texas.