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Legal Aid Presents 2010 Access to Justice Awards

MAY 18, 2010

Legal Aid Presents 2010 Access to Justice Awards

The Access to Justice Awards Dinner, celebrating the great work of legal aid and pro bono programs in northwest Ohio, attracts more than 600 attendees including local and regional community leaders, public officials, attorneys, judges, and community advocates.

Scheduled for Wednesday, May 26, at the Crowne Plaza Toledo, this year’s recipient of the Community Advocacy Award is Betty A. Lewis-Amison for her exceptional efforts made on behalf of disadvantaged persons and communities. The Public Interest Law Award recipient is Vincent M. Nathan, an attorney who has provided outstanding advocacy on behalf of disadvantaged persons and groups. In addition, three Distinguished Service Awards to Hon. James G. Carr, R. Jeffrey Bixler, and Thomas L. Young for their commitment to the mission and work of legal aid in northwest Ohio.
 

MAY 18, 2010

Legal Aid Presents 2010 Access to Justice Awards

The Access to Justice Awards Dinner, celebrating the great work of legal aid and pro bono programs in northwest Ohio, attracts more than 600 attendees including local and regional community leaders, public officials, attorneys, judges, and community advocates.

Scheduled for Wednesday, May 26, at the Crowne Plaza Toledo, this year’s recipient of the Community Advocacy Award is Betty A. Lewis-Amison for her exceptional efforts made on behalf of disadvantaged persons and communities. The Public Interest Law Award recipient is Vincent M. Nathan, an attorney who has provided outstanding advocacy on behalf of disadvantaged persons and groups. In addition, three Distinguished Service Awards to Hon. James G. Carr, R. Jeffrey Bixler, and Thomas L. Young for their commitment to the mission and work of legal aid in northwest Ohio.

The awards dinner is presented by Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE), Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO), and the Toledo Bar Association Pro Bono Legal Services Program. Tickets to the dinner are $75 per person and are available by calling ABLE at (419) 930-2562 or visiting this link on this website.
 


Ray Suarez featured at 2010 Access to Justice Awards

Author and broadcast journalist to present keynote address at Legal Aid fundraiser.

ImageWell-known author and broadcast journalist Ray Suarez will deliver the keynote address at the Access to Justice Awards Dinner on Wednesday, May 26, at the Crowne Plaza Toledo. The event begins with a reception at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner, presentation of the annual Access to Justice Awards and Suarez’s comments (approximately 8:10 p.m.).

Suarez joined The News Hour following a six-year stint as host of National Public Radio’s nationwide call-in news program Talk of the Nation. In his current role as senior correspondent, he is responsible for conducting newsmaker interviews, studio discussions, and debates, reporting from the field, and serving as a backup anchor.

Throughout his 25 year career, Suarez has also narrated, anchored or reported many special programs and documentaries for public radio and television including the PBS weekly series, Follow the Money. He covered local, national, and international stories for the NBC affiliate WMAQ-TV in Chicago, and was a Los Angeles correspondent for CNN, producer for the ABC Radio Network in New York, reporter for CBS Radio in Rome, and a reporter for various American and British news services in London. He also hosts the monthly radio program America Abroad for Public Radio International, and the weekly politics program Destination Casa Blanca for Hispanic Information Telecommunications Network.

In addition to being an accomplished broadcaster, Suarez is an author. He wrote The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America which examines the tightening relationship between religion and politics in America, as well as The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration: 1966-1999. The former won the distinction of being named a 2007 Latino Book Award for Best Religion Book. He also has contributed to several books. His essays and criticisms have been published in many newspapers and other publications.
 


2010 Access to Justice Awards Winners

ImageCommunity Advocacy Award: Betty A. Amison-Lewis

Community Advocacy Award recipient Betty A. Amison-Lewis is credited with organizing Toledo’s first rent strike in the mid-1960s. She also led the former Olde Towne Community Organization, assisted with the creation of the Art Tatum African-American Resource Center in the Kent Branch Library, and has shown dedication to preserving housing in Toledo’s North End. One of Amison-Lewis’ most significant accomplishments is the co-founding of Grace Community Center in 1969 where she is currently the executive director. She was instrumental in leading a capital campaign to raise the funds necessary to purchase the land and construct the current center located at 406 W. Delaware – the home for the Center since 1985.

She has worked tirelessly to increase and stabilize agency funding, and has been instrumental in expanding the Center’s programming focused on increased self-sufficiency and self-actualization within families.
 

ImagePublic Interest Law Award: Vincent M. Nathan

Vincent (Vince) Nathan, recipient of the Public Interest Law Award, is currently a Professor with the Department of Criminal Justice at The University of Toledo. Throughout his career as an attorney, Nathan has worked to further his passion for prison reform and human rights, and has worked extensively in the field of corrections and correctional reform. In 1975, he began working to address severe prison conditions that denied prisoners their due process rights in order to expedite disciplinary proceedings. He has received judicial appointments to serve as a special master in prison condition-related suits, and as an expert witness in cases involving corrections litigation and prison or jail conditions throughout the country.

ImageDistinguished Service Award: R. Jeffrey Bixler

Prior to his retirement, R. Jeffrey Bixler served as vice president, general counsel, and secretary of HCR Manor Care in Toledo. He has also served as partner with Cooper Walinski LLP in Toledo and as senior attorney with Owens-Illinois Inc. Most recently, Bixler was instrumental in leading the effort to raise $6.7 million in 2009 for the establishment of the Center for Equal Justice in downtown Toledo. Along with his work on behalf of ABLE and LAWO, Jeff’s professional and community involvement includes serving on the board of the Mercy St. Vincent Foundation board of trustees and as a director emeritus of the Catholic Charities Board of the Diocese of Toledo and a director emeritus of the Owens Community College Foundation. Jeff has served on the board of trustees for the Toledo Bar Association, the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation, and he is a member of the Dean's Advisory Board for the University of Toledo College of Law.
 

ImageDistinguished Service Award: Honorable James G. Carr

The Hon. Judge James G. Carr, who recently announced his intention to retire from active service and take on the role of a senior judge, began his judicial career in 1979 with his appointment as United States Magistrate Judge, Northern District of Ohio, and was elected judge to that district in 1994. He has been Chief Judge of the District since 2004. He is a longtime member of Toledo Bar Association, and served as president in 2001–2002 when he promoted the expansion of the Pro Bono Program as a major part of his agenda. His initiatives included the framework for an expanded Pro Bono Advisory Board with functioning sub-committees that could fundraise and promote awareness of the Program.
 

ImageDistinguished Service Award: Thomas L. Young

Former Owens-Illinois, Inc., Executive Vice President and CFO, Thomas L. Young is also being honored for his efforts on behalf of the Center for Equal Justice and for more than 10 years of service on the board of the former Toledo Legal Aid Society, now part of Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO). In March, 2005, Tom retired from Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI) as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, having previously served in 2004 as both acting Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer and from 1993 to 2003 as Executive Vice President, Administration and General Counsel. He has served as a director of various nonprofit institutions and presently is the chairman and founding trustee of the Northwest Ohio Education Foundation, a private charitable foundation; a trustee of the Toledo-Lucas County Police Athletic League; and a trustee of the Edmund Drummond Libbey Trust, which provides endowment income to The Toledo Museum of Art. Tom also serves as president of Titus Holdings Ltd., a private investment company; director and chairman of the Risk Management Committee of Owens-Illinois Inc.; director and chairman of the Audit Committee and designated financial expert for HCR ManorCare, Inc. and various other companies.