Rep. Stacey Plaskett, Evan Wolfson of Freedom To Marry, Honored at New York State Bar Association Diversity Celebration
Four-term Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett recieved the New York State Bar Association’s inaugural Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Beacon Award and Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom to Marry, received the John E. Higgins Diversity Trailblazer Award today at the New York Hilton Midtown in Manhattan as the association celebrates diversity in the legal profession.
Plaskett, who represents the Virgin Islands, is the first member from a U.S territory and only fourth African American woman to serve on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. She received national attention as an impeachment manager during the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. She has served in the Bronx District Attorney’s Office and the Justice Department.
“Congresswoman Plaskett has broken down barriers as a Black woman representing the Virgin Islands in Congress. She’s stood up for the rule of law and committed herself to fighting for representation and equal treatment for those who are otherwise ignored,” said NYSBA President T. Andrew Brown. “It’s an honor to have Rep. Plaskett with us for this exciting event.”
Wolfson, whose organization campaigned successfully for marriage equality in the U.S., has taught law and social change as a distinguished visitor from practice at Georgetown Law Center and as a distinguished practitioner in grand strategy at Yale University. He serves as senior counsel at Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, with more than 190 offices, and directs a team of Freedom to Marry alumni and experts who assist human rights efforts worldwide under the banner of Freedom to Marry Global.
“Evan Wolfson’s successes in the campaign for marriage equality have been monumental,” Brown said. “Not only did Evan commit his life to winning marriage equality in the United States but he now works on that cause around the world.”
The awards presentation was part of NYSBA’s Diversity Symposium hosted by the association’s Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The celebration featured a program titled An Argument Against Second Class Citizenship in the U.S. Territories: A Movement for Equality and Overturning the Insular Cases. Panelists examined the Supreme Court’s so-called Insular Cases and the attempt to ensure that those living outside the U.S. mainland are entitled to benefits such as Social Security.