Garden City, NY (PRWEB) April 25, 2014
ERASE Racism will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 at its Annual Benefit Reception on June 4th at the Garden City Hotel. In recognition of this landmark legislation, three renowned legal organizations will be honored for their outstanding advocacy in advancing civil rights and the rule of law: the Anti-Discrimination Center, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Each organization will receive the Abraham Krasnoff Courage and Commitment Award, established in June 2006 in honor of its first recipient, a founding board member and generous contributor to ERASE Racism, Abraham Krasnoff. The award annually recognizes Abe's bold leadership, wise counsel, generosity and steadfast commitment to addressing institutional racism.
"ADC has made significant contributions to advancing fair housing in a short period of time," said Elaine Gross, ERASE Racism's president. ADC has been litigating, strategizing, and advocating in support of aggressive and maximally protective civil rights enforcement since 2003. ADC's motto is "one community, no exclusion," and it operates on the principle that crossing boundaries of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and geography is perhaps the most essential requisite for building a better society.
Among its accomplishments, ADC drafted and led a broad coalition to pass New York City's 2005 Local Civil Rights Restoration Act. On Long Island, ADC served as counsel for ERASE Racism in its successful effort to help Nassau County develop and pass a greatly strengthen, comprehensive Fair Housing Law in 2006, which took effect in 2007. ADC is best known for its unprecedented legal strategy of using the False Claims Act to successfully sue Westchester County for having defrauded the federal government by having falsely represented that it was affirmatively furthering fair housing. ADC's litigation yielded an historic housing desegregation consent decree.
At the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar's leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity, the Lawyer's Committee was formed in 1963. From its groundbreaking work in Mississippi establishing the rights of African Americans through the courts at the height of the Civil Rights Movement to its recent, largest national election monitoring campaign during the last two presidential elections, and everything in between, the Lawyers' Committee has a stellar legacy.
"We are grateful that the Lawyer's Committee has been a resource to ERASE Racism and that they have also been enforcing the Fair Housing Act on Long Island", said President Elaine Gross. It has successfully litigated three important Fair Housing Act cases. Two are exclusionary zoning cases alleging discriminatory zoning and land use decisions by two Long Island jurisdictions: Huntington, brought in 2002, and Garden City, in 2005. The third case, against Smithtown, was brought in 2007 on behalf of a class of African American and Latino persons who were seeking Section 8 vouchers and challenged the Town's policy of giving preference for Section 8 vouchers to residents of Smithtown. This case was settled in an agreement approved by the court in 2009.
The country's first civil and human rights law firm, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, was founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall, who later became a Supreme Court Justice, at a time when the nation's aspirations for equality and due process of law were stifled by widespread state-sponsored racial inequality. From that era to the present, LDF has sought structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in an inclusive society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans.
LDF works through the courts and through advocacy to the executive and legislative branches, educational outreach, monitoring of federal and state government activity, coalition building and policy research. "Where would we be," says President Elaine Gross, "without the NAACP LDF's expert legal advocacy in the Supreme Court and other courts across the nation." LDF has been involved in seminal Supreme Court decisions, including Brown v. Board of Education, and it has been involved in nearly all of the precedent-setting litigation relating to minority voting rights. Its legal victories established the foundation for many of the civil rights that Americans enjoy today. "As we advance our advocacy with New York State concerning the Superstorm Sandy Relief Action Plans," adds Elaine Gross, "we have been grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the NAACP LDF."
We hope you will join us in honoring these three outstanding organizations that are on the front lines in the fight for racial justice. To buy tickets, ads or sponsorships, please visit our Benefit page.