Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center is pleased to announce the honorees for the 10th Annual Midwest Light of Human Rights Awards. The honorees are Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls, James A. Morsch of Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd LLP, and Winston & Strawn LLP.
Chicago Bulls’ Luol Deng, Prominent Human Rights Litigator,
and Leading Chicago Law Firm to Receive
10th Annual Midwest Light of Human Rights Awards
U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Will Keynote Event
Honoring Region’s Human Rights Champions
CHICAGO – May 15, 2009 – Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center is pleased to announce the honorees for the 10th Annual Midwest Light of Human Rights Awards. The honorees are Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls, James A. Morsch of Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd LLP, and Winston & Strawn LLP.
The event’s keynote will be delivered by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. The 10th Annual Midwest Light of Human Rights Awards is scheduled for Friday, June 19, 2009, from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. at The Fairmont Chicago Hotel, 200 North Columbus Drive.
“This year’s Midwest Light of Human Rights Awards honorees have made outstanding contributions in human rights by promoting, protecting, and advancing human rights for individuals here in our region and throughout the world,” said Mary Meg Mccarthy, director, Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center.
Since 2000, the Midwest Light of Human Rights Awards has celebrated the contributions of business, civic, and philanthropic leaders in promoting human rights. In 2008 the event attracted more than 700 Chicago civic leaders, including attorneys, business leaders, legislators, and advocates. The event provides critical funding for Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center to ensure that its dedicated staff and pro bono attorneys can continue to promote human rights and access to justice for immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.immigrantjustice.org/midwestlight. To arrange media interviews with Mr. Guterres or any of the honorees, please contact Tara Tidwell Cullen at (312) 660-1337 or by email.
The honorees are:
Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls – The Jeanne and Joseph Sullivan Award: Luol Deng, a professional basketball player for the Chicago Bulls, has promoted and protected human rights through the creation of the Luol Deng Foundation. As a child, Mr. Deng and his family fled Sudan, seeking refuge in the United Kingdom. He has raised awareness of the challenges facing thousands of former refugees attempting to resettle in their homeland and has worked to improve the conditions and lives of refugees.
James A. Morsch of Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd LLP — Midwest Light of Human Rights Award: James Morsch is partner and pro bono director at Bulter Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd LLP. From his early career at the Refugee Policy Group and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, to his exemplary pro bono service beginning in the 1990s, Mr. Morsch has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to human rights. In 20 years of involvement with Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center, Mr. Morsch has argued on behalf of more than 15 asylum seekers and immigrants, including a recent case before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Morsch has served on the National Immigrant Justice Center Leadership Council for more than a decade, including three years as co-chair, and serves as a mentor to other pro bono attorneys.
Winston & Strawn LLP — Midwest Light of Human Rights Corporate Award: On the 150th anniversary of Winston & Strawn LLP’s founding, the firm’s attorneys pledged an outstanding commitment to pro bono service. Working with Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center, Winston attorneys have provided pro bono representation to 67 asylum seekers and immigrant victims of crime and domestic violence, freeing these individuals and their families from fear of persecution and abuse. Winston leads the legal community in responding to the growing need for competent pro bono representation relating to gender persecution and domestic violence and developed a clinic to provide legal services to immigrant victims of domestic violence. Beyond the life-saving impact Winston attorneys have made in the lives of individual asylum seekers, they also have fought tirelessly in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals to bring fairness and accountability to the adjudication of asylum claims.
The 10th Annual Midwest Light of Human Rights Awards is presented with support from:
Baker & McKenzie, Jenner & Block LLP, Mayer Brown LLP, Sidley Austin LLP, Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd LLP, Global IP Law Group, LLC, Jones Day, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, and Winston & Strawn LLP.
Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center is a Chicago-based nongovernmental organization dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers through a unique combination of direct services, policy reform, impact litigation and public education. For more information visit www.immigrantjustice.org.