Washington Lawyers Committee to present awards to two local organizations

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The Washington Lawyers’ Committee recently announced the winners of this year’s Alfred McKenzie Award and Vincent E. Reed Award. Every year, the committee presents awards to recognize the work of people or organizations who have been most influential in advancing civil rights and education justice.

This year’s ceremony is set to take place at the downtown JW Marriott on June 1 where the committee will honor DC Justice Lab and Digital Equity in DC Education.

DC Justice Lab is a nonprofit organization that advocates for criminal justice reform and Digital Equity in DC Education is a parent coalition tackling the digital divide.

The Alfred McKenzie award is named after a World War II veteran, who fought against racial discrimination in the military. McKenzie was a Tuskegee Airman who later worked as a pressman for the Government Printing Office where he uncovered more racial discrimination. He later became the chief plaintiff in a lawsuit that would pay $2.4 million in back wages to employees passed over for promotions because of their race.

This Vincent E. Reed award is named after a former D.C. Public Schools superintendent who served as the first Black principal of the predominately white Wilson High School in the seventies. Reed has made a series of reforms during his tenure as superintendent that have made long lasting impacts to public school education in the city.

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