Celebrating the 2014 Champion of the Public Interest Awardees

Each year at our Annual Dinner, BPI recognizes exceptional contributions to the public interest by individuals and organizations across a broad range of endeavors working to create a more just society with our Champion of the Public Interest Awards.

In 2014, two individuals and one organization were chosen to receive this honor: Keynote Speaker and Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson, Chicago community leader Crystal Palmer, and the Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC) at the Bluhm Legal Clinic at Northwestern University School of Law.

Crystal Palmer currently serves as the Chicago Housing Authority’s liaison to the residents’ Central Advisory Council. Among her many honors, Ms. Palmer was named one of “Ten Most Influential Women on the West Side” and a LISC/Chicago Community Hero. Ms. Palmer serves as Vice Chair of the National Public Housing Museum Board of Directors.

About receiving the award, Ms. Palmer says, “I’m so honored that BPI has chosen me to receive this award. I hope the work that I contributed has some impact on the community and the lives of the people that live within them because it truly has changed my life.”

CFCJ was founded in 1992 and the Center’s attorneys, social worker, and law students work together to promote justice for children, adolescents, and their families through direct legal representation, policy advocacy, and law reform. In 2013, the CFJC received the 2013 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

“The Children and Family Justice Center is honored to receive the Champion of the Public Interest award. We are dedicated to advancing the doctrine that youth matters, and that our children deserve access to a fair and equal justice system,” says Julie Biehl, director of the CFJC.

Click here to download the BPI-CFCJ press release.

Congratulations to each of this year’s awardees! We look forward to honoring them at this year’s Dinner and hope to see you there as well. Register online today to secure your seat at the table.

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