FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Anita Aboulafia 212-267-6646, ext. 225, firstname.lastname@example.org
NYCLA AND MBBA PRESENT BLACK HISTORY MONTH EVENT:
PATRICIA L. GATLING TO RECEIVE IDAB. WELLS-BARNETT JUSTICE AWARD
JANUARY 25, 2008 – NEW YORK, NY – On Wednesday, February 6 at 6:00 PM, in honor of Black History Month, the New York County Lawyers’ Association (NYCLA) and Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA) will present Patricia L. Gatling, Commissioner and Chair of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, with the sixth annual Ida B. Wells-Barnett Justice Award at the NYCLA Home of Law, 14 Vesey Street. The award is named in honor of Ida Wells- Barnett, an African-American civil rights advocate who adamantly fought against segregation and in support of women’s rights.
Patricia L. Gatling
Patricia L. Gatling, Commissioner and Chair of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, is in charge of enforcing the Human Rights Law and combating discrimination in New York City. She has worked as a senior trainer in the U.S. State Department’s International Law Enforcement Academy under the auspices of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, teaching “Human Dignity and the Law” in newly emerging democratic countries, such as Botswana, Thailand and Hungary, and at the Dubai Police Academy’s International Conference in the United Arab Emirates.
Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862-1931)
Born in Holly Springs, Mississippi, Ida B. Wells, the daughter of slaves, became a teacher, newspaper editor, journalist, orator, suffragist and anti-lynching crusader. In 1884, after she was forcibly removed from her seat for refusing to move to a “colored car” on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, she filed suit against the railroad for violating her civil rights. Ms. Wells won her case in the local circuit court, but the railroad company appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court, which reversed the lower court’s ruling in 1877. In 1930, she ran for the Illinois state legislature, one of the first black women ever to run for public office in the United States.
This is among the myriad NYCLA events taking place during NYCLA’s Centennial year celebration, which commenced in April 2007 and ends in December 2008. NYCLA (www.nycla.org) was founded in April 1908 as the first major bar association in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual identity. Since its inception, it has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence and has continuously played an active role in legal developments and public policy.
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