Commemorating a Historical Milestone – 28th Annual Legal Defense Fund’s (LDF) National Equal Justice Award Gala

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Commemorating a Historical Milestone – 28th Annual Legal Defense Fund’s (LDF) National Equal Justice Award Gala

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In light of the Ferguson protests and other issues in American communities, Legal Defense Fund hosted a magnificent gala that accentuated certain matters in current news and most importantly, recognized the respected individuals whose great deeds moved this nation forward. The New York Hilton Midtown was this year’s location for the Historical Milestone – 28th Annual Legal Defense Fund’s (LDF) National Equal Justice Award Dinner on November 6, hosted by ABC News 20/20 correspondent Deborah Roberts, to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the historical Brown vs. Board of Education court case and bring to light critical topics on education and opportunity. After thanking the attendees for their support and appearance, LDF’s President and Director-counsel, Sherrilyn A. Ifill, continued by emphasizing the importance of education and scholarship in helping children succeed and, in spite of the many improvements throughout the years, she underlined that there is still a lot of work to be done. [caption id="attachment_1434" align="aligncenter" width="252"]IMG_1915 Geoffrey Canada, President of Harlem Children’s Zone and LDF’s President and Director-counsel, Sherrilyn A. Ifill[/caption] The honorees at the event included Geoffrey Canada, President of Harlem Children’s Zone and recipient of the Thurgood Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award, Debra L. Lee, CEO of BET Networks and bearer of the distinguished National Equal Justice Award who spoke on voting rights, improving education and discussed the role of LDF clients, and Bernard J. Tyson, recipient of the Spirit of Justice Award and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. Among those attending the gala were, actor John Amos, who mentioned his aspirations to become a positive role model to black youth and their families and David Dinkins, 106th mayor of New York City. Also celebrating anniversaries were famed baseball player Jackie Robinson and retired right fielder Hank Aaron, who was celebrating his 40th anniversary. An honorable acknowledgement was bestowed upon the family of Oliver Brown, the esteemed Kansas plaintiff whose role in the Brown v. Board of Education case overturned the separate but equal dogma that dominated American public schools in the 1950s, which was a major landmark for the civil rights movement. The recognition was followed by a special performance by entertainer Jon Batiste. IMG_1930 The function highlighted the primary values supported by LDF and upheld by the exceptional leaders whose dedication to diversity and equality have shaped and reshaped society. LDF offers a public legal safety plan that is committed to protecting the rights and welfare of its members, such as supporting a housing complex in Detroit that lacked water. Its mission, the importance of education, justice and opportunity, was featured in an inspiring video played at the event. LDF also stresses the protection of voting rights and deemed the first ever photo ID law and poll tax recently passed in Texas as unconstitutional and a violation of people’s voting rights. In addition, a video produced by Charles Knicks and featuring actor Samuel L. Jackson discussed the recent protests in Ferguson, Missouri and focused attention on empowering clients to speak their own truths. All in all, in commemorating the historical Brown v. Board of Education case, the event encompassed current issues regarding diversity, education and opportunity and recognized the acts of outstanding leaders in the past and present that will provide examples for those in the future.   [caption id="attachment_1422" align="alignnone" width="272"]IMG_1898 Debra L. Lee, CEO of BET Networks[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1405" align="alignnone" width="262"]IMG_1876 David Dinkins, 106th mayor of New York City[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1426" align="alignnone" width="259"]IMG_1905 Jon Batiste[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1437" align="alignnone" width="262"]IMG_1918 Sidra Smith[/caption]   IMG_1921   [caption id="attachment_1413" align="alignnone" width="257"]Actor John Amos Actor John Amos[/caption]   IMG_1911   IMG_1927  ]]>

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