DETROIT – On Wednesday, November 15, the sixth Annual Justice Tribute, hosted by the Arab American Civil Rights League (ACRL) and the Detroit Branch NAACP, honored Amir H. Ali, a distinguished civil rights attorney and president and executive director of the MacArthur Justice Center, and Third Judicial Circuit Judge Deborah H. Thomas.
The event, attended by local judges, including Supreme Court judges, local, state and federal representatives, law enforcement officials and community leaders, took place at the Huntington Tower in Detroit. They joined ACRL and NAACP board members and guests to celebrate individuals devoted to upholding the principles of equality and justice.
ACRL Executive Director Mariam Charara and Detroit Branch NAACP Executive Director Kamilia Landrum led the event, extending a warm welcome to a diverse crowd for justice night. The ceremony, headlined as a spirit of unity, highlighted the collaborative endeavors of the ACRL and the Detroit Branch NAACP in promoting justice and equality in the diverse region.
Huntington Bank sponsored the event. The ACRL and NAACP thanked Huntington Bank Chairman Gary Torgow for his and the institution’s commitment and dedication to serve the community and promote justice. Their support has illuminated the importance behind the pursuit of justice.
Torgow welcomed the diverse crowd to Huntington’s headquarters in Detroit, reiterating his and the bank’s commitment to reinvest in the community in many ways, including scholarship programs for students in high schools in Detroit, Dearborn and Dearborn Heights, among others who are bound for college to help them realize their dreams.
The event’s co-chairs, Third Circuit Court Judges Helal A. Farhat and Prentis Edwards II, emphasized the significance of justice in our community.
Ali was honored with the Justice Tribute Award. ACRL Founder Nabih Ayad presented the award and highlighted Ali’s accomplishments in the fight for civil rights, underscoring the significance of justice. Ali, a seasoned civil rights litigator committed to creating a more equitable legal system, leads trial and appellate litigation. His advocacy addresses economic and racial justice issues, amplifying the voices of marginalized communities. In addition to his legal practice, he shares his expertise as a professor at Harvard Law School and the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law.
Judge Thomas, a luminary in the legal field, received the Justice Tribute Award from Detroit Branch NAACP President Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, who delivered an engaging speech in celebration of Thomas’ remarkable contributions to justice. Anthony praised her distinguished legal professional with a rich background in law, education and public service.
Thomas has been an effective leaders in the legal field since 1995. Serving in the Third Judicial Circuit Court, she has presided over civil, criminal and appellate litigation. She has also contributed her expertise as a mediator at Wayne County Probate Court and as an attorney specializing in real estate, family, criminal, juvenile and probate law.
ACRL Chairman Jim Allen delivered the closing remarks. He delved into the profound meaning of justice and reflected on recent initiatives by the ACRL, demonstrating their commitment to justice beyond borders.
“The event served as a platform to acknowledge individuals whose unwavering commitment has paved the way for current and future leaders in the field of legal justice,” Allen said. “The Justice Tribute not only recognized exceptional contributions, but also celebrated the unwavering spirit of the community.”
Allen thanked the distinguished judges, law enforcement representatives, elected officials and community leaders who came together to “honor those who displayed unparalleled dedication to civil rights and justice.”