6th annual judges night
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) Michigan honored judges and their contribution to civil rights at its 6th Annual Judges Night Reception on Tuesday, October 16, at the Bint Jebail Cultural Center in Dearborn.
Among the invited guests were distinguished judges, attorneys, community leaders, and government and elected officials, who gathered to honor and celebrate the judicial community.
Over fifty judges were present to honor their colleagues and participate in what has quickly become one of ADC Michigan’s trademark events. The annual event is the only one of its kind to recognize and award judges from the local and federal levels. Among the judges in attendance were the Hon. Charles Binder, Hon. George Caram Steeh, Hon. Arther Tarnow, and Hon. Avern Cohn, who all serve in the United States District Court.
The event was hosted by the ADC Michigan Advisory Board, chaired by Attorney Nabih Ayad and ADC Michigan Director of Policy and Community Affairs, Nadia Fadel. WXYZ Channel 7 News reporter, Cheryl Chodun, served as the evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies.
The program featured remarks by Julie Myers, Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security, who served as the evening’s keynote speaker. Myers, who heads U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), spoke to the audience about the imperativeness of enhancing dialogue between law enforcement agencies and local communities.
“It is an honor to be here tonight to honor the leaders of this community,” said Myers. “It is a tribute to ADC’s work to have all these judges here tonight. We at ICE look forward to building additional strong relations with ADC. While we may not agree on everything, I truly believe that dialogue is the answer. We have to have the sort of relationship where we can talk about issues.”
|The prestigious “Guardian of Justice” award, given to judges who exhibit an exceptional commitment to the preservation of civil rights. This year they chose to honor Wayne County Circuit Court Judge David Allen and U.S. District Court Magistrate Charles Binder
Myers recognized that although there are many areas of disagreement between the local community and law enforcement, there are ways to contribute to the enhancement of relations between the two groups.
“We need to have good community outreach on all levels with groups like the ADC,” she continued. “By actually participating in this outreach, it helps to build trust and cooperation at the local level. Our ability to stop all kinds of criminal activity is increased by maintaining good relations between local law enforcement and local leadership.”
Myers, who was addressing the Arab American community in Dearborn for the first time, said that she looked forward to maintaining a lasting relationship with ADC and the community.
ADC Michigan continued its tradition of honoring select judges to present with the prestigious “Guardian of Justice” award, given to judges who exhibit an exceptional commitment to the preservation of civil rights. This year they chose to honor Wayne County Circuit Court Judge David Allen and U.S. District Court Magistrate Charles Binder, for their years of service on the bench and their dedication to their respective communities.
Fadel presented Judge Allen with his award, and spoke to the audience about his many contributions to the field of law, both as a judge and as a mentor. Allen, who is also an adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Detroit Mercy, spends much of his time outside the courtroom mentoring aspiring lawyers, offering them guidance, advice, and encouragement throughout their academic careers.
“The best lesson that Judge Allen has taught us is that the field of law is not a field of personal success and satisfaction, but rather a vast field to be plowed and cultivated by a team working for the advancement of our community and society as a whole,” Fadel stated. “He has remained a humble and compassionate individual who takes pride in the success of up-and-coming students interested in the field which he holds dear to his heart. With his success, his dedicated work in and out of the courtroom, his humbleness and his drive to promote the next generation of attorneys, Judge Allen truly encompasses the qualities which should be requisite of all who practice law.”
Allen, who has served on the bench since 2003, humbly thanked ADC and those in attendance for his award.
“It is with deep gratitude that I accept this award,” he stated. “As a member of this great body, I am truly honored and humbled. ADC exists as one of the premiere civil rights organizations in this country. In that spirit, I share this award with them.”
Allen went on to thank his wife and three sons for their unwavering love and support, and dedicated his award to them.
|Over fifty judges were present to honor their colleagues and participate in what has quickly become one of ADC Michigan’s trademark events.
Judge Binder was also presented with the “Guardian of Justice” award, in recognition of his work on a case in September of last year involving three Arab American men who were charged with terror felony charges after a large number of prepaid cell phones were found on their possession. After reviewing the case, Binder found that there was not enough evidence to bring the case to trail, and dismissed the charges. Atty. Ayad presented Binder with his award, and commended him on his exemplary service to the bench, and his commitment to uphold the Constitution.
Special commendations were given to the honorees by several elected officials, including Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Congressmen John Conyers and John Dingell, State Representative Gino Polidori, Senator Irma Clark Coleman, Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick, and Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano.
Following the awards presentation was a special performance by “Najoom Al-Sharakh,” a classical Arabic music ensemble, which performed several classic songs using traditional Arabic instruments.