24th Annual Fall Appreciation Luncheon
November 25, 2014
SMRLS held its 24th Annual Fall Appreciation Luncheon on Tuesday November 25th. The day began with a CLE held in recognition of the 60th Anniversary of the landmark case: Brown v. Board of Education with Professor Gene Nichol (director, Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity: University of North Carolina) presenting a rousing and thought-provoking talk Brown and the Forgotten American Commitment to Equality. Special guests Hon. Tom Fraser, Hon. Jack Tunheim, and Hon. Wilhelmina Wright followed with insight on the local and personal impact of the case.
Leticia Smith Evans, director Education Practice, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund served as SMRLS luncheon keynote speaker. Describing work currently underway at the LDF, she spoke to the imperative of the mission of equal justice and how great a need remains. At the conclusion of her remarks, she introduced a named litigant in the Brown v. Board of Education case—Duane Dean Fleming. Mr. Fleming brought a human touch to the event by sharing his personal story.
Each year, SMRLS takes the luncheon as an opportunity to recognize leaders in the fight for equal justice. This year, SMRLS honored Chief Judge Michael Davis and Judge Donovan Frank (Lifetime Leadership Awards), longtime SMRLS Board Members Catherine Harris and Emma Hilliard (Equal Justice Service Awards) and UCare (21st Century Award).
Special thank you to our event sponsors: 3M, Alliance Bank, Dorsey, Medica, Minnesota Lawyers Mutual, Thomson Reuters and Xcel Energy. Many thanks also to our table sponsors.