Strong receives humanitarian award


Judge Craig Strong at the Care for Kids Celebrity Benefit in Hollywood with U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (left) and Al Bell, a music industry legend who was presented an honorary award.

Third Circuit Court Judge Craig Strong was presented with the Man of the Year Humanitarian Award at the Care for Kids Celebrity Benefit hosted by The Hollywood & Vine Recovery Center at Club Avalon Hollywood on June 2. Befitting the well-respected and well-known Strong, entertainment industry legends from Freda Payne, The Main Ingredients, Lenny Williams to Cuba Gooding, Sr., performed their popular hits and paid tribute to Strong’s work in the community throughout the country. 

“For years Judge Strong has been working to improve the lives of youth,” said Dr. Gloria Montgomery, founder of Hollywood-based Care for Kids and a native of Detroit. “When 19 inner city boys from Detroit were recruited to form a scout unit, he single handedly within one week raised enough money to purchase 125 uniforms.”

Mistress of Ceremonies Luenell, a comedian and actress, entertained the sold out audience and referred to Strong as the best dressed judge in the country.

U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters presented the award to Strong.

“Judge Strong believes in the importance of appearance and works with the Jackets for Jobs program teaching young men how to dress appropriately for the occasion,” said Waters.  “I have visited Judge Strong’s home and his closet is a masterpiece filled with custom suits.”

Under the Hollywood & Vine Recovery Center is The Care For Kids program, an affordable substance-abuse treatment center for children 7-19 years old. Having experienced the drug haven streets of Detroit, Dr. Gloria Montgomery and Joan Wendorf moved to California and founded the non-profit organization.

“I enjoy traveling and speaking at schools and before youth groups across the country, in Canada, Europe, Germany, South Africa, and throughout the Caribbean Islands,” said  Strong. In Southern California, he has spoken at Dorsey High School, the Marcus Garvey Academy, and distributes toys for Christmas at churches and community centers.

The recipient of numerous proclamations and awards, Strong is the Official Ambassador of Steve Harvey’s Neighborhood Awards, (formerly the Hoodie Awards), which takes place annually in Las Vegas. He has made appearances on several television shows as well as guest spots in five motion picture productions. The judge was cast as a judge in the ABC series “Detroit 187.”

Strong was appointed referee in the Traffic & Ordinance Division of Detroit’s Recorders Court at age 30. Later that year he was elected judge of the Detroit Recorder’s Court, the youngest to serve in this capacity. He was re-elected four times.

Strong became an officer of the Wolverine Bar Association and its youngest president at age 30.  He later became one of the founding members of the Association of Black Judges of Michigan and served as president. He has also served on the National Bar Association Board of Governors, and is former Chair of the Judicial Council.

As part of the National Bar Association’s delegation to South Africa, Strong met with black lawyers from many countries to develop an International Bar Association.  Judge Strong is a retired commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. During a five-year tour in the Navy Marine Corp Trial Judiciary, he was the only African-American judge presiding over special courts marshal. A 33-degree Prince Hall Mason, he is a lifetime member of the NAACP, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and the Navy Reserve Officer Association.

Being active in numerous civic organizations, he has served on the Board of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the largest of its type in the United States, and was a founding board member of the International African World Festival. He founded and still chairs the Black History months’ membership drive, which has generated thousands of new members to help keep the doors of the museum open. He has also served on the boards of the Westside Citizens for the Retarded and the Black United Fund of Michigan.

Believing in world peace and justice, the Strong participates in the U.S. State Department sponsored International Visitors Leadership Program and routinely hosts its visitors. This year he has shared his experiences and insights with delegations from France and Azerbaijan.

Strong received his Bachelor’s degree from Howard University and his Jurist Doctor Degree from Detroit College of Law, now Michigan State School of Law.