MoFo’s Pro Bono Team Receives MLK Award for Civil Rights Advocacy

As immigration policies continue to make headlines, a team of MoFo lawyers have focused their efforts squarely on one mission—giving a voice to those individuals and families who are currently being detained in deplorable conditions at United States Border Patrol detention centers. This year, we are particularly honored to have been presented with an MLK Award for Civil Rights Advocacy by The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR).

During the organization’s 32nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Dinner, MoFo was presented with the Father Cuchulain Moriarty Award, for our firm’s ongoing work challenging inhumane conditions in border detention centers, in partnership with the LCCR, the ACLU of Arizona, the National Immigration Law Center, and the American Immigration Council. MoFo lawyers Colette Reiner Mayer, Louise Stoupe, Elizabeth Balassone, and Pieter de Ganon, along with senior paralegals Anne LePore and Gary Stenger, were recognized for their ongoing pro bono efforts and human rights advocacy.

The event also featured a keynote speech given by Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), whose recent visits to the U.S.-Mexico border have shed additional light on Border Patrol abuses.

“We are honored to be recognized by LCCR for the team’s work challenging the appalling conditions for immigrants in Border Patrol detention facilities. Now more than ever, it is important for all of us to do what we can to ensure that those who cross the border seeking refuge are not detained in facilities that violate basic constitutional standards,” said MoFo Partner Colette Reiner Mayer.

“For over 50 years, LCCR clients and pro bono partners have walked together to protect and advance civil rights,” said Monika Kalra Varma, LCCR Executive Director. “We are deeply inspired by the passion and ever growing commitment of our partners to this work – particularly at this moment in our country when there are daily assaults on racial, immigrant, and economic justice.”

Founded in 1968, LCCR of the San Francisco Bay Area is a nonprofit working to protect and promote the rights of people of color, immigrants, and low-income people in California. With the help of a strong pro bono attorney network, the organization provides free legal aid to impacted communities, engages in impact litigation, and advocates for policy change on three main issue areas: Immigrant, Racial, and Economic Justice.

To learn more about the awards and additional LCCR MLK Award recipients, read the full press release here.

From left to right: Pieter de Ganon, Elizabeth Balassone, Bree Binswanger of LCCR, Colette Reiner Mayer, Anne LePore, and Gary Stenger gather together for a picture with their Father Cuchulain Moriarty Award.

From left to right: LCCR Executive Director Monika Kalra Varma, Esq., Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, and MoFo Partner and LCCR Board Member Diana Kruze enjoy a moment together during the MLK Awards ceremony.

–  Photos by Bob Hsiang Photography