Our 2016 speaker, a powerful national voice for social justice, was Vince Warren, Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
“The time to act against injustice is always now.”
A powerful national voice for social justice, Vince Warren has served as Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights since 2006. Throughout its 50-year history, storied civil rights organization CCR has pioneered daring and innovative litigation and advocacy across a broad range of justice issues from voting rights to illegal detention at Guantanamo to discriminatory policing and criminal justice reform.
Among his many honors, Vince received the NY State Bar Association Committee on Civil Rights 2016 Haywood Burns Memorial Award and the NY State Criminal Defense Lawyers 2015 Justice Award. He delivered the keynote address at Yale Law School’s 2015 Rebellious Lawyering Conference.
We were pleased to honor Mr. Warren, Velma Brow-Walker and Robert Mariano with our Champions of the Public Interest award.
Velma Brown-Walker is Department Director of Catholic Charities’ Jadonal E. Ford Center Adolescent and Parenting Programs. For over 35 years, she has dedicated herself to providing front-line services to pregnant and parenting teens, including the Altgeld-Riverdale Doula/Home Visiting Program in which BPI is deeply engaged.
Among awards for leadership and service, she received the National Council of Negro Women’s “Women Making History” Award. Ms. Brown-Walker holds an MS in Public Administration from DePaul University and an MSW from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at UIC.
Robert Mariano began his career in the grocery business as a Dominick’s deli clerk at 17, rising to become the chain’s CEO. In 2002, he became CEO of the Roundy’s chain, opening its first Mariano’s in 2010. Today Mariano’s has 36 stores with more on the way, including one in the Bronzeville community.
In 2003, Mr. Mariano established the Roundy’s Foundation, which has donated over $12 million to address hunger and domestic abuse. The recipient of many honors for leadership and philanthropy, Mr. Mariano holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from DePaul.
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