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Judge Langston McKinney to be honored by SU students
Judge Langston McKinney to be honored by SU studentsMarch 10, 2006SU News ServicesSUnews@syr.edu
Syracuse City Court Judge Langston McKinney will receive Syracuse University’s Dan and Mary Lou Rubenstein Social Justice Award at a ceremony April 5 at 6 p.m. in Maxwell Auditorium. The award is presented annually by Social Workers United, a social work student group in SU’s College of Human Services and Health Professions. The ceremony is free and open to the public.
“We chose to recognize Judge McKinney for his dedication and commitment to ensuring justice in the Syracuse legal system,” says Candace Murray, social work graduate student and chair of the award ceremony.
McKinney has made a career of advocating for social justice in the Syracuse community. He served as head of the Criminal Appeals Unit of the Frank H. Hiscock Legal Aid Society and was a founding partner of the first all-black law firm in Central New York (Maye, McKinney & Melchor). He holds degrees from Harvard University and the Syracuse University College of Law. He was appointed to the Syracuse City Court bench in 1986. He maintains an active presence in the community and has served on the boards of the Boys & Girls Club, the Cerebral Palsy Association, the Syracuse Community Health Center and the Everson Museum of Art.
“Judge McKinney has been a consistent advocate for equity and fairness and has been forceful in addressing systems issues that he views as threatening the rights of the accused,” says Peg Miller, social work director of field instruction. “He is loved and respected by the community.”
Diversity educator Jane Elliott will deliver the keynote address. She will speak on “The Anatomy of Prejudice,” highlighting the origins of our perceptions of difference, how we promote these perceptions, and ways we can actively seek to eradicate prejudice. Elliott is the creator of the famous “Brown Eyes/Blue Eyes” experiment, in which she “created a microcosm of society in a third-grade classroom” by segregating the students by eye color and demonstrating discrimination against one group.
The Rubenstein Social Justice Award was created more than 20 years ago to recognize a person who reflects the values of social justice in his or her professional and/or personal life. The award was named after the late professor Daniel Rubenstein, an activist member of SU’s School of Social work, and his late wife, Mary Lou, a former school social worker.
The 2006 Social Justice Award is funded by the Kaleidoscope Project, an SU Division of Student Affairs Diversity Programming Grant, and SU’s undergraduate and graduate student associations. Co-sponsors include the Office of Residence Life’s Diversity Committee, the Department of African American Studies, the Black Graduate Student Association, the Black Communications Society and the National Association of Negro Business and Professionals Women’s Clubs Inc.