Laurie Russman came to the Civil Rights Project in 2007. Prior to CRP, her background included two decades of teaching and working in the field of documentary film and television. Some of those years in documentaries involved writing for a documentary magazine and traveling extensively throughout Latin America and Africa as a field producer; others included negotiating music licensing and archival footage contracts for non-fiction productions. She then segued from TV to the unsung (and notoriously low-wage) field of motherhood and parenting. It was this latter work and continued journey which led to her deep interest in education and civil rights, particularly for children with special learning needs, and to her work at the Civil Rights Project. As an undergraduate, Laurie attended the University of Michigan and later pursued graduate studies at UCLA in the School of Theater, Film and Television.