For Immediate Release
Lawyers’ Committee Honors Legacy of Senator Edward Kennedy
WASHINGTON - The civil rights community has lost one of its greatest champions. Senator Edward Kennedy played an indispensable role in building the legislative framework over more than four decades that has transformed the United States and provided access to opportunity and justice for countless Americans.
The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law will always be grateful for the Kennedy family's commitment to equal rights and racial justice. The Committee was founded in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert, then serving as Attorney General of the United States, and they were instrumental in guiding its leadership and providing focus in its early years. "Senator Kennedy took up that leadership mantle for the Lawyers' Committee and never laid it down," said Executive Director Barbara Arnwine. "He was a civil rights giant and our irreplaceable advocate, always encouraging and supporting us to continue to fulfill the vision of his brothers. He understood that leadership by the private bar in the struggle for racial equality and justice for our nation's most vulnerable citizens is critical."
In 2003, at its 40th anniversary gala, the organization honored Senator Kennedy with the Beacon of Justice Award in recognition of his lifetime accomplishments in advancing civil rights.
Senator Kennedy's legacy can be seen in landmark legislation including the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1991; the 1965 Voting Rights Act; the Fair Housing Act of 1968; the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006 and numerous other measures that sought to better realize the ideals of American Democracy. His passion for seeking equal justice for all was undiminished throughout his long career. He was a primary sponsor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passed in 2008 and has recently spoken of the inherent right of all Americans to quality health care.
We extend sincere condolences to his wife Victoria, his children and to the entire Kennedy family and wish them peace during this difficult time.
The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and fair lending, community development, employment; voting; education and environmental justice. For more information about the LCCRUL, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.