Thank you to everyone who joined us on Wednesday evening! “Celebrating Justice for Families” was a great success! We hope you enjoyed good food, drinks, and company — and went home inspired by our wonderful honorees.
Special thanks to all of our sponsors, silent auction donors, and donors. Your support helps the Center continue its mission of advocating justice for families in the child welfare system.
Thank you to our supporters for making our Let Kids Play Celebration a success! This year’s theme, “Let Kids Play,” was a celebration of the Center’s important work defending families against unfair charges of child neglect, such as a rule that is used to punish parents for making decisions like letting their children play at the park. These vague charges of neglect especially hurt poor families who are trying to provide a good life for their children.
Thank you to our supporters for being a part of the next decade of justice for families! With your help, we had our best year yet at our annual benefit. We are excited to continue our work into the next decade.
Our successes over the last 10 years would not have been possible without our 10th Anniversary Honorees and our 2015 Family Defender. Here is the video that debuted at our celebration:
On Sunday, September 21, 2014, at the MidAmerica Club in Chicago, the Family Defense Center honored Ellen Domph for her exemplary work as lead trial counsel in the celebrated In re: Yohan K. case which led to a landmark appellate victory as well as the research and advocacy of Professor Deborah Tuerkheimer, whose focus on the widespread injustice and error in so many “Shaken Baby Syndrome” prosecutions has helped exonerate wrongly accused families and shaped public discourse. A Community and Professional Service Award was given to FDC Board Member and pro bono attorney Louis Fogel of Jenner and Block. We also recognized the Goodman Theatre with a Community Awareness Award for promoting awareness of the child welfare system through the production of the play Luna Gale. Click to view pictures from the event as well as the event program booklet.
On Sunday, September 22, 2013, at the MidAmerica Club in Chicago, the Family Defense Center honored Professor Anita Weinberg for her commitment to the welfare of children and the health of families through her work on countless major child welfare policy initiatives. Lifetime Achievement awards were given to Dr. Eugene Pergament and Rhoda Redleaf. Additional awards were given to Colleen Garlington of Kirkland & Ellis for her pro bono representation of mothers with mental health disabilities as well as to the Julie Q. pro bono legal team. Click to view pictures from the event as well as the event program booklet.
On Sunday, September 23, 2012, at the Hotel Allegro in Chicago, the Family Defense Center honored Karl Dennis for his life-long commitment to working with youth whose behavior challenges their families, their communities and the authorities by developing and promoting the use of WrapAround services which work with, not against, these children, their families and communities. Additional awards were given to Michael W. Weaver, McDermott Will & Emery, for Individual Attorney Recognition; George J. Barry, retired, and Kathleen A. Barry, Winston & Strawn, for a Father-Daughter Pro Bono Service Recognition; and Toni Hoy, for Parent Advocate Recognition. Click to view pictures from the event as well as the event program booklet.
At the third annual benefit, held on Sunday, September 25, 2011, at the Hotel Allegro in Chicago, the Family Defense Center honored Carolyn Kubitschek for her work in the momentous Camreta v. Greene supreme court case which sought to give families protection from unwarranted seizure and interrogation of children at school. Additional awards were given to Michael Otto of Jenner & Block for excellent individual pro bono representation, the Slater v. DCFS pro bono team at McDermott Will & Emery, and the law firm of Sidley & Austin. Click to view pictures from the event as well as the event program booklet.