FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, November 23, 2016
CONTACT: Stephanie Franklin, Director of Policy & Communications – 202.727.1145; [email protected]
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights will honor James J. Sandman with its 2016 Cornelius R. “Neil” Alexander Humanitarian Award for his long-standing commitment to providing access to justice and pro bono legal services for those in need in the District. The award – given annually to a District resident who has made significant contributions in the field of civil rights and improved the quality of life of residents in the District –will be presented to Mr. Sandman at the 6th Annual Commission on Human Rights Awards on December 7.
Currently, Mr. Sandman is President of Legal Services Corporation; formerly he served as the General Counsel for the District of Columbia Public Schools and was a longtime partner and the former managing partner of the corporate law firm, Arnold & Porter. He has also served as the former President of the District of Columbia Bar as well as been a member of the Board of Directors of several legal committees, charitable foundations, and civic organizations including his time as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Whitman Walker Health. In addition to Mr. Sandman, local high school students selected as finalists for the Youth Human Rights Ambassador Contest will be honored for their projects related to human rights in the District.
“Because of Mr. Sandman's wisdom, knowledge, and guidance while serving as chair of the Board of Directors of the Whitman-Walker Clinic, it became one of the leading health clinics in the area to provide critically needed services to sexually disenfranchised groups,” said Dr. John D. Robinson, a member of the Commission of Human Rights.
The Youth Human Rights Ambassador program – a joint venture between the Commission and the Georgetown University Law Center’s Street Law Clinic – has law students teach high school students about the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the District of Columbia Human Rights Act. After learning about human rights, the high school students are asked to develop a creative work reflecting their understanding of human rights or a specific human rights issue. Top projects will receive awards at the event. “We are not only excited to honor Mr. Sandman’s accomplishments but also those of the Youth Human Rights ambassadors, who symbolize the next generation of civil rights leaders,” stated Earl D. Fowlkes, Jr. Chairperson of the Commission.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
4:30 pm - 7 pm (reception from 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm)
RSVP information below
Kaiser Family Foundation’s Barbara Jordan Center
1330 G Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20005
The event is open to the public, but we request attendees RSVP by Friday, December 2 at cohrawards2016.eventbrite.com or by calling (202) 727-0656.
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. 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.