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Social Justice Dinner 2017

Thanks to everyone who joined us at our annual Social Justice Dinner on May 20th.  By all reports, the event was inspiring, renewing our drive to take on the many injustices we address.

In summing up the climate in which we do our work, dinner emcee Joe Vaccaro said, “Dismaying as the current political scene is, we’re here tonight to celebrate some slivers of sunlight in the otherwise darkening sky. Fundamentally, our task as the real lawyers of the left is making more room in the storm clouds for the light to get through.”

Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund also reminded us of the current political climate with a powerful message about harnessing the demands of the people for change.  She pointed out that 20% of the US population has joined protests since Trump was elected.  But we must work hard to keep this energy from being diverted by certain non-issues being advanced in the media.  We also need to work hard to defeat anti-protest legislation and defend protesters who face extremely heavy charges.

Our evening started beautifully with the musical stylings of Larry McDonough and Carol Bergquist of Larry McDonough Jazz.  We are very fortunate to have such amazing talent in our ranks.  Larry was a protege of Paul Marino, after whom our People’s Lawyering Award is named and he brought this legendary man to life with his recollections.

Included in the evening’s events was a tribute to two of our fallen people’s lawyers, Larry Leventhal and Ted Dooley.  People spoke lovingly of their memories of these wonderful people and their many important contributions to law in the service of the people.  Click here to see the tribute presentation.

The awards ceremony was, perhaps, the most inspiring part of the evening with recognition of the vital work of Lowry Grove residents defending low income housing, student organizers with Young Peoples Action Coalition, and legal workers and attorneys who have dedicated their time and talents to defend water protectors fighting to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Please see the Dinner Program for more information on the award recipients and their important efforts.

Finally, our thanks to The Naughty Greek for catering a sumptuous and satisfying meal that included appetizers and an array of traditional Greek dishes, cooked beautifully.

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