Ralph E. Kharas Award
The Ralph E. Kharas Award For Distinguished Service in Civil Liberties Of the Central New York Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union
The CNY Chapter presents an annual award named after Ralph Kharas, former dean of the Syracuse University School of Law. His gentle humor, quiet dignity, and ability to listen fairly and report concisely were widely appreciated. Although recipients have generally been individuals, organizations are also eligible. The criteria for the award include the following:
- The recipient should be someone involved with civil liberties within the area served by the chapter.
- The recipient should have a long standing commitment to civil liberties, although this commitment may not have been previously recognized.
- The award is intended to recognize direct service and/or significant single acts in the defense of civil liberties. The implication is that recipients should have gone out of their way, perhaps at a risk of personal loss or loss of community support.
- There is a fine line between civil liberties and civil rights. Priority should be given to acts in defense of civil liberties.
CNY-NYCLU -- Kharas Award Chronology (with keynote speaker for award dinner) 1966 Norman Balabanian 1967 Thomas Szasz 1968 Faith Seidenberg. Keynote: Algernon D. Black, leader of the Society for Ethical Culture 1969 Theodore Jacobus, M.D -- pioneering abortion provider 1970 Richard Mosher 1971 Ken Donaldson 1972 Bernice Schultz 1973 Isadora Greenberg 197? Ellen Fairchild -- women’s health advocate, Planned Parenthood 1979 Evelyn Zaleon (Posthumous) 1980 Bonnie Strunk -- attorney, lesbian and gay rights advocate. Keynote: Alvin Bronstein director, ACLU National Prison Project 1981 Center for Human Policy at Syracuse University 198? Dann Braveman. Keynote: Morton H. Halperin Center for National Security Studies 198? Chapter Founders Bob Anderson, Norman Balabanian, Julian Friedman, Jesse Burkhead 1985 Karen DeCrow -- attorney, women's rights advocate 1986 Betty Bone Schiess -- first woman ordained as Episcopal priest. Keynote: Michael Meyers, former NAACP Legal Counsel/ACLU and NYCLU Board / executive director, RACE Inc. (Research and Advocacy Center for Equality) 1987 Harry Freeman Jones -- lesbian and gay rights advocate. Keynote: Wiliam Kunstler, co-founder of Center for Constitutional Rights 1988 Sally Johnston -- disability rights advocate / community activist 1989 Walt Sheppard -- journalist / media rights advocate 1990 Vivian Moore -- human rights worker. Keynote: Norman Dorsen ACLU President 1991 Agnes Weis -- civil liberties advocate 1992 Sally Berry -- advocate for battered women / Vera House. Keynote: Nadine Strossen ACLU President 1993 Joseph Heath -- attorney/advocate for children's and prisoner's rights. Keynote: Alvin Bronstein, director, ACLU National Prison Project 1994 Jack Yoffa M.D. (Ob/Gyn) -- reproductive rights advocate. Keynote: Doug Bicklen, professor of special education at SU/director of the Facilitated Communication Institute 1995 Lawrence Rockwood -- captain, U.S. Army, advocate for human rights in Haiti. Keynote: Ramsey Clark, civil rights attorney / former U.S. attorney general 1996 Margaret Stinson -- People Against the Death Penalty. Keynote: Jonathan Gradess, New York State Defenders Association 1997 Kathleen Rumpf -- peace and justice activist / jail ministry. Keynote: Chris Hansen senior staff attorny, ACLU / lead counsel, ACLU v. Reno 1998 The Syracuse Seven -- seven local activists who protested the U.S. military's "School of the Americas". Keynote: Chris Dunn staff attorney, NYCLU / lead counsel, NYCLU education adequacy case 1999 Paulette Johnson & Patricia Waelder -- leaders on behalf of Education Equity. Keynote: Alan Rosenthalcivil rights attorney 2000 Bill Cuddy -- Jail Ministry Activist. Keynote: Ira Glasser executive director, ACLU 2001 Sid Ogelsby -- legislator/advocate for the rights of African-Americans. Keynote: Daniel Jezer rabbi, Congregations Beth Shalom Chevra Shas and Don Hansen, director, InterReligious Council of CNY 2002 Allen Rosenthal -- civil rights attorney and activist. Keynote: Anthony Romero executive director, ACLU 2003 Jerome Berrigan -- activist for peace and social justice. Keynote Timothy Edgar staff attorney, ACLU DC Legislative Office 2004 Magda Bayoumi -- human rights advocate and cross-cultural bridge builder. Keynote: Abdeen Jabara civil rights attorney 2005 Special Lifetime Program for Faith Seidenberg -– No Award given this year. Speakers: family and friends of Faith Seidenberg; Ira Glasser, former director, ACLU 2006 Susan Long and David Burnham -- founders of the Transactional Records Analysis Center (TRAC) at Syracuse University. Keynote: Donna Lieberman executive director, NYCLU 2007 Michael Schwartz -- law professor and advocate for people with disabilities. Keynote: Joyce Bender, Bender Associates Consulting, disability advocate 2008 Donna Reese -- community activist for racial and social justice. Keynote: Jonathan Gradess, director, New York State Defenders Association (NYSDA)
CNY Chapter -- Special Recognition Awards 1985 Burton Blatt -- Dean of SU School of Education (given posthumously) 1989 Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union Local 150 -- Standing Up for workers rights to free speech and assembly 1993 • Charles Anderson -- Common Counselor / Advocacy for Civilian Review Board • Ibrahim Rubama -- service to chapter 1994 Marcy Waldauer -- former chapter director / service to chapter 1997 Micere Githae Mugo -- Kenyan free speech and social justice activist / college professor and author 2000 Elisabeth Passer
Youth Recognition Awards 1998 • Amber Long -- advocate for student's rights in Cayuga County High School. • Sarah McMaster -- advocate for student's rights in Cayuga County High School.