On November 7, 2019, Andalman & Flynn’s founding partner, Elliott Andalman, attended the 23rd Annual Frederick Douglass Awards dinner at the Conrad Hotel in Washington, DC. The event was sponsored by the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR). The SCHR works for equality, dignity, and justice for people impacted by the criminal legal system, fighting for a world free from mass incarceration, the death penalty, the criminalization of poverty and racial injustice. Mr. Andalman was a guest of David and Barbara Lipman, who helped found the Center more than 20 years ago and continue to be major supporters.
During the event, guests learned of important social justice work being done in the Deep South and across the nation. Awards were presented to Robert Reynolds Cushing and Scott Budnick, two deserving honorees whose efforts to advance human rights and equality light the path to a more just society. Mr. Cushing is a founder and executive director of Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights (MVFHR), which he created after his father was murdered in 1988. He is an advocate for crime victims and an opponent of capital punishment. Mr. Cushing is also a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. He recently successfully passed legislation to abolish the state’s death penalty, despite a veto by New Hampshire’s Republican governor. Scott Budnick is a very successful American film producer (his credits include “The Hangover”) and is the founder of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), a non-profit organization that provides a support network for formerly incarcerated individuals. He recently formed a new film and TV production company, One Community, LLC, that plans to make movies and programming to effect positive social change. Its inaugural movie, “Just Mercy,” is expected to be released in the very near future.
“The individuals who received these awards are doing some really impressive work, and it’s important to learn about it,” said Mr. Andalman. “In addition, during the dinner, we learned about a number of significant legal victories the SCHR has won in the Deep South. It was a very enlightening and encouraging evening.”