Deadline near for McCree award nominations

The Wade H. McCree, Jr. Award for the Advancement of Social Justice honors individuals or organizations who have made significant contributions to the advancement of social justice.

The award luncheon will be held 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. March 9. Early registration is recommended.

Senator Carl Levin will be the guest speaker. For 36 years, longer than any other person in Michigan’s history, Levin served the State and its people in the United States Senate.  His name evokes the spirit and meaning of the McCree Award, as he came to be known as “the Conscience of the Senate” — widely acclaimed for his dedication to principles of social justice and bi-partisianship and for his unbending opposition to injustice, summed up as “a bulldog on issues he cares about, mostly social justice.”  Upon his retirement from the Senate in 2015, one commentator declared him to be “The Last of the Just.”  An article entitled “The Legacy of Carl Levin, written by David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, now retired from the New York Times, available at http://prospect.org/article/legacy-carl-levin, is commended to the reader for additional information about Senator Levin’s remarkable career.

The award is named in memory and honor of Wade H. McCree, Jr.,  Judge McCree was born in Des Moines, Iowa. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree at Fisk University and his law degree at Harvard Law School, where he finished twelfth in his class. He began his legal career at the Detroit firm of Bledsoe and Taylor in 1948. In 1952, he was appointed by Governor G. Mennen Williams to the Workmen’s Compensation Commission, where he served until 1954, when Governor Williams appointed him to the Wayne County Circuit Court. Judge McCree was then appointed by President John F. Kennedy to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in 1961, and by President Lyndon B. Johnson to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 1966. Judge McCree resigned from the Sixth Circuit in March 1977 to accept appointment by President Jimmy Carter as Solicitor General of the United States.

Wade McCree served as Solicitor General until June 1981, when he was appointed the Lewis M. Simes Professor of Law at the University of Michigan, where he taught until his death. While a member of the University of Michigan Law School faculty, Professor McCree was appointed by the United States Supreme Court to hear three cases as a Special Master.

Judge McCree cared deeply about education. A founder of the Higher Education Opportunities Committee at Wayne State University and a founding trustee of Friends School in Detroit, he was a Trustee at Fisk University and a member of the Visiting School Committees of Harvard Law School and Mercer University Law School. He also served as an Overseer of Harvard College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School and on the Visiting Committees of the Law Schools at Wayne State University, the University of Chicago, Case Western Reserve University and the University of Miami.

Judge McCree’s service to the legal profession and the community included active membership on more than 50 committees, councils and boards. He also was a Life Member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and served on the Board of the Detroit Round Table of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, as well as on the boards of numerous charitable and cultural organizations.

The Chapter’s McCree Award for the Advancement of Social Justice is nationally acknowledged as one of the most prestigious awards in recognition of contribution to the community.

Past Recipients of the Wade Hampton McCree Jr. Award for the Advancement of Social Justice:

1990 George W. Crockett & Dennis W. Archer

1991 Ernest Goodman

1992 Mildred Jeffrey

1995 Damon J. Keith

1996 George W. Romney

1997 Fr. William Cunningham

1998 William G. Milliken

1999 Maryann Mahaffey

2001 Alternatives for Girls

2002 Saul A. Green

2003 Eleanor M. Josaitis

2004 Friends School of Detroit

2005 Eugene Driker

2006 Freedom House

2007 Father Norman P. Thomas

2008 Jack Kresnak

2009 The “Neal Legal Team”

2010 Mary Sue Coleman

2011 Kathleen Straus

2012 Martin I. Reisig

2013 Florise Neville-Ewell & PBJ Outreach

2014 Dr. Daniel H. Krichbaum

2015 John Van Camp

The Criteria: Significant Contributions to the Advancement of Social Justice.

These contributions may include advancing social justice in areas involving poverty, promoting economic or educational opportunity, or fighting discrimination involving race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or economic status. The recipient may be selected from any field of endeavor including law, social service, community organization, volunteer activities, journalism, academics or the like.

Nominations for the 2016 McCree Award will remain open until February 10, 2016, and should be submitted to any officer or to the executive director.
 

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