(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights today announced Dr. Edgar S. Cahn will receive its 2013 Cornelius R. “Neil” Alexander Humanitarian Award for his lifetime of work on behalf of lower income and marginalized populations. The award – given annually to a District resident who has made a significant contribution to advancing human rights and improving quality of life in the District – will be presented to Dr. Cahn at the Commission on Human Rights Awards Ceremony on December 5.
Dr. Cahn currently teaches and directs the Community Service Program at the University of DC - David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC-DCSL). He and his late wife, Jean Camper Cahn, were co-founders of the Antioch School of Law, UDC-DCSL's predecessor, the first law school in the United States to educate students primarily through clinical training in legal services to the poor. He started the Time Dollars project, a service credit program aimed at addressing social problems through building a non-market economy that recognizes and rewards reciprocal contributions of service and caring. Dr. Cahn has authored books on ending hunger, alleviating poverty, and advancing self-determination for Native Americans. He received a B.A. from Swarthmore College and a M.A., Ph.D. and J.D. from Yale.
“The members of the Commission on Human Rights are well aware of Dr. Edgar S. Cahn's service and commitment to the legal and economic needs of disadvantaged people in the District of Columbia, and his contributions make this award well-deserved,” said Nkechi Taifa, Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights. “We are very proud to select him as our Cornelius ‘Neil’ Alexander Humanitarian Award recipient.”
The Cornelius R. “Neil” Alexander Humanitarian Award is named in honor of the longtime Chief Administrative Law Judge of the Commission, who worked with the Commission for almost 20 years and was recognized as an expert in human rights law. The Commission on Human Rights Awards Ceremony is held each December to coincide with the anniversary of the adoption of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The complete biography of Dr. Cahn can be found on the UDC website.
About the District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights
The Commission on Human Rights is a quasi-independent body whose primary function is to adjudicate private sector discrimination complaints brought under the DC Human Rights Act after the DC Office of Human Rights makes a probable cause finding. It is comprised of 15 volunteer Commissioners appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. Three administrative law judges assist the Commission in upholding its responsibilities.
About the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights
The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) was established to eradicate discrimination, increase equal opportunity and protect human rights for persons who live in or visit the District of Columbia. The agency enforces local and federal human rights laws, including the DC Human Rights Act, by providing a legal process to those who believe they have been discriminated against. OHR also proactively enforces human rights in the District through Director’s Inquiries, which allow it to identify and investigate practices and policies that may be discriminatory.