November 4, 2009


Honor Recognizes Attorney Dean Burns' Commitment to Civil Rights Advocacy

ALBANY-The New York State Bar Association today announced a call for nominations for the 2010 Haywood Burns Award. Sponsored by the State Bar's Committee on Civil Rights, the award is given annually to an individual whose contributions to New York reflect Dean W. Haywood Burns' commitment to the struggle for equality and justice, while recognizing the unique qualities that made Burns an outstanding advocate for civil rights and the empowerment of the powerless.

"Whether it is leading organizations dedicated to promoting the civil rights and liberties of New Yorkers, or working to ensure equal protection and equal opportunities for all under the law, the recipients of the Haywood Burns Award have each continued Burns' legacy of civil rights advocacy through their activism and dedication," said Civil Rights Committee Chair Fernando A. Bohorquez, Jr. of New York (Baker Hostetler LLP). "We look forward to honoring and recognizing another great leader committed to advancing the cause of a more just society."

The award is given to honor the significant contributions of the late civil rights lawyer and academic, Dean W. Haywood Burns.  From the age of 15 until his untimely death at the age of 55 while promoting civil rights in post-apartheid South Africa, the former head of the City University of New York School of Law was active in seeking to expand the civil rights of all people. 

The deadline for nominations is November 25, 2009. Nomination forms are available online at The completed nomination form, and attachment(s) must be submitted to Betty Brewer, Bar Services Department, New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207 or Nominees are not required to be an attorney to be considered for the Haywood Burns Award. The award will be presented at a reception on Thursday, January 28, 2010 at the State Bar's Annual Meeting in New York City.

Previous award winners include: Dr. Parveen Chopra (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award Recipient); Donna Lieberman of New York (Executive Director, New York Civil Liberties Union); John Boston (Director, Prisoners' Rights Project, NYC Legal Aid Society); Rocky Chin (Director, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, NYS Division of Human Rights), and Hon. Cornelius Blackshear of New York (Retired, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York).

Founded in 1876, the 76,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. The State Bar's programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.