In Memory of
Marquita Dar’Lynn Christy was born to Monique Lemann Christy and Whitney Christy on May 22, 1987. At the age of 5, Marquita got something she had always wanted, a sister. She loved being a big sister and overtime her relationship with her sister, Whitney, flourished.
In her early years, Marquita was quiet and introverted. Through her participation in athletics and other activities she found her voice and grew into a social butterfly. As a teenager Marquita began to discover her path in life. Before graduating high school in 2005 from Ascension Catholic in Donaldsonville, she managed to accomplish several interesting feats. Marquita was one of the youngest players to be placed on the school’s varsity basketball team. She was also involved in volleyball, track and field, student government, and theater.
Marquita became one of the school’s first African-American Homecoming Queens and established its first Black History program which featured highly acclaimed speakers such as Justice Bernette Johnson (who later became the first African American, Louisiana Chief Supreme Court Justice). Marquita was inspired by Justice Johnson, who planted the seeds of what would later become her passion. Marquita’s remarkable achievements in high school were acknowledged by the State of Louisiana House of Representatives in the House Resolution No. 117 by Representative Roy Quezaire.
Marquita was a self-motivated student who strived to do her best at all times. Her academic excellence resulted in her being awarded a full scholarship to Nicholls State University. While attending Nicholls, she found a way to assist her fellow students by serving as the head of the Diversity Committee. It was at Nicholls that her leadership abilities became evident. She was selected by the National Youth Leadership Council to attend both the 2008 and 2012 inaugurations of President Barack Obama. Marquita served as a Senator on the Student Government Association and was given an award for being an Outstanding Senator in 2007. Her popularity grew because of her service to the student body and in 2009 she was elected Ms. Nicholls.
In the fall of 2007, Marquita pledged the Xi Theta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Inc. and embraced the values of her sorority. It was then that she became “Unbreakable”. In her junior year, Marquita was selected to receive one of the prestigious internships offered by the Governor’s Office of Women’s Policy. It was then, that she was wooed away from Nicholls by Southern University’s Dean of Psychology.
Marquita transferred to Southern University to continue her undergraduate studies. In May 2011, Marquita received her undergraduate Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. After receiving her undergraduate degree, Marquita’s desire to help others grew as she realized her true passion. Her decision to attend law school came as no surprise to her family and friends and this transition proved to be a natural fit. Marquita truly thrived in the academically challenging environment of Southern University Law Center.
At this time in her academic career, Marquita really found her stride. She interned with the Texas Legislative Internship Program, she was the recipient of a Peggy Browning Fellowship, as well an Ella Baker/Center For Constitutional Rights (New York, New York) Fellowship. Marquita served the American Bar Association Law Student Division as a Regional Representative and the Chairperson of Diversity. She was actively involved in community service with Habitat for Humanity and the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice. Recently, Marquita was the recipient of a Martinet Scholarship and a Louisiana Black Judges Association Scholarship. She was also featured in Southern University’s Law Center’s 3L spotlight.
As Marquita approached her final year of law school, she began to focus on her plans to work with her sister, Whitney. Whitney - graphic artist and owner of AnnaKiya Designs digital creative agency. She sought out legal guidance from Marquita on numerous occasions. Ultimately, Marquita agreed to take the bar exam following graduation and partner with her sister's business as a legal representative. Meanwhile, Whitney was to develop a blog in the hopes of helping Marquita establish an online presence by summer 2018 to gain the attention of potential employers.
Together they created the brand “MARQ My Words”, a legal "bLAWg" with the purpose of discussing controversial civil rights and race-related issues happening in our country as well as Marquita's personal experiences in law school, hair tips, and balancing school with personal life. She had plans to become a litigator first and to ultimately become a juvenile court judge. Marquita’s plans were tragically cut short by her sudden passing. We have lost a beautiful soul and she will be greatly missed by all.
In honor of her memory, a scholarship was established through Southern University Law Center to help young law students who aspire to serve their communities by becoming a lawyer.
Marquita Christy of Donaldsonville was crowned Ms. Nicholls 2009 by her peers and it was announced at the university’s annual Crawfish Day celebration for students and employees.
“I believe I received this award based on my personality; I am very outgoing and down to earth. Also, my involvement in Student Government Association, Student Programming Association, Orientation Team, my sorority Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, and Residential Life, made it easy when it came time to vote,” said Christy.
She was nominated by a student organization called Student Educators and Leaders, (SEALS), and the decision to nominate her was based on all of her leadership roles while at Nicholls.
Christy said one of her major goals as SGA president would be to find an alternative to the newly reduced printing quota in campus computer labs.
“I want to see what we can do to better benefit students because the current system is not convenient.”
-The Nicholls Worth
"At least one person anxious to see the nation’s next president sworn into office is nonpartisan. She just wants to be there when it happens.
Nicholls State University student Marquita Christy was chosen by the National Youth Leadership Forum to attend the 2008 presidential inauguration.
“The inauguration is going to be historic,” Christy, 20, said. “How things have been going, it’s going to be an interesting one.”
"Christy will be among 2,000 other college students at the weeklong conference that includes tours of Washington, D.C., a black-tie ball and a number of speakers such as champion cyclist Lance Armstrong and former 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards."
Local organizing groups, NOWCRJ, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana have filed a lawsuit against the Baton Rouge and Louisiana State Police Departments, East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, the District Attorney, and the City of Baton Rouge for violating the First Amendment rights of demonstrators who were protesting peacefully against the killing of Alton Sterling.
Marquita D. Christy (NOWCRJ): Witnessed the police randomly tackle individuals in groups of 4 or 5 and cause panic among the crowd. She also describes that police instructions were incoherent, contradictory, and impossible to comply with.
“Some of the people being arrested would have four to five cops attacking that one person. Also some of the people arrested in the yard and on the outside of the fence were thrown to the ground very aggressively.” Aff. of Marquita D. Christy
The result of
The settlement, which got preliminary approval in May from U.S. Magistrate Judge Erin Wilder-Doomes, also calls for expunging the records of protesters — at no cost to them — of the charge of obstructing a highway. The arrests were made July 8-10, 2016.
The class-action suit accused the Police Department, Sheriff's Office and State Police of violating their constitutional rights and using excessive force. The District Attorney's Office was a named as a defendant because of the expungement issues.
"The ABA Law Student Division has lost a thoughtful leader and cheerful warrior, and this country has lost an amazing legal mind. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Marquita have lost a dear friend, an inspiring social justice activist, and an aspiring lawyer. Marquita leaves behind a legacy that only she could have built, and her soulful spirit, and commitment to diversity will forever be the foundation of our division."