Lawyers’ Committee to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 with Two Days of Special Events – June 3-4, New York, NY
Honorees Include Toyota and James Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America; Former U.S. Attorney General, the Honorable Eric H. Holder Jr.; Noted Civil Rights Attorney Fred Gray; and Acclaimed Stage and Screen Actor David Oyelowo CBS News Correspondent Michelle Miller to Serve as Emcee; Special Guests Include Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 28, 2015 — The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s (Lawyers’ Committee) 2015 A. Leon Higginbotham Corporate Leadership Award Events, themed, “The Destiny of Democracy: We Shall Overcome”, will be held in New York City June 3-4, 2015. These events will celebrate the transformative impact of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, of the most effective civil rights achievements in U.S. history. The law protects the constitutional voting rights of all citizens after nearly a century of open resistance to the Fifteenth Amendment which declares that “the right of citizens of the U.S. to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the U.S. or any state on account of race, color or pervious condition of servitude.”
On June 3rd, the Young Lawyers’ Committee will host an intimate discussion with the Honorable Judge Damon J. Keith, celebrated judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Judge Keith will also discuss his new book, “Crusader for Justice: Federal Judge Damon J. Keith”, which explores his path to the federal bench, important influences, and major cases.
Also on June 3rd, the Lawyers’ Committee, in partnership with New York City Bar Association, and the State Bar of New York, will host a special “Talk Back” with legendary civil rights attorney Fred Gray followed by a panel discussion regarding the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 moderated by distinguished journalist Linda Greenhouse.
June 3, 2015
10 – 11:30 a.m. ET
Young Lawyers’ Committee’s “Conversation Over Coffee” with the Honorable Judge Damon Keith, civil rights hero, community leader and sixth circuit federal judge. He will also discuss his new book, “Crusader for Justice: Federal Judge Damon J. Keith” (a book signing will follow this forum).
4 – 6 p.m. ET
Legendary civil rights attorney Fred Gray, is the featured speaker for a special “Talk Back” forum followed by a panel discussion on the 50th Anniversary of the Landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 moderated by Linda Greenhouse, distinguished journalist.
- Marcia Johnson-Blanco, Co-Director Voting Rights Project
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
- Wayne Dawkins, Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Communications
- Eric Rodriguez, Vice President, Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation
National Council of La Raza
- Myrna Pérez, Deputy Director
Brennan Center’s Democracy Program
- Janai Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
New York City Bar Association, 42 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
June 4, 2015
6 p.m. Reception; 7 p.m. Gala, Black-Tie Dinner
A Leon Higginbotham Corporate Leadership Award Dinner, “The Destiny of Democracy: We Shall Overcome” Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965
- Emcee: Michelle Miller, CBS News Correspondent
- Special Guest: Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
- Toyota and James Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America (Higginbotham Corporate Leadership Award)
- Honorable Eric H. Holder Jr., Former U.S. Attorney General (Robert F. Kennedy Justice Prize)
- Civil rights Attorney Fred Gray (Pillar of Justice Award)
- Acclaimed Stage and Screen Actor David Oyelowo (Distinguished Civil Rights Advocate Award)
New York Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
Members of the media interested in covering any events should contact Stacie Royster, Lawyers’ Committee at(202) 445-6101 or [email protected] by noon on June 1st.
The prestigious Higginbotham Corporate Leadership Award, named in honor of Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., a pioneering civil rights advocate, author and federal appeals court judge, was established in 2000. Past honorees include: DuPont; J.P. Morgan Chase and J.P. Morgan Chase Investment Bank; McDonald’s; Aetna Inc.; BellSouth Corporation; Citigroup Inc.; Colgate-Palmolive Company; Fannie Mae; General Electric Company; Microsoft Corporation; The New York Times Company; PepsiCo, Inc.; Qualcomm, Inc.; Time Warner, Inc. and United Parcel Service.