Outstanding Ceremony for Social Justice Award

by Kenneth Myers, JSPAN vice president and co-chair of the Celebration Committee

The reception on November 14 for the presentation of the Social Justice Award to Alan Lerner and Adelaide Ferguson honored a wide range of vibrant and successful activity in support of Tikkun Olam, the repair of the world. Mark Heywood, a freedom fighter against the South African apartheid government, gave the keynote talk. He described the struggle leading to the fall of the apartheid government, and his work since then to bring relief from the awful toll of HIV, which causes one thousand deaths from AIDS each day in South Africa. He remarked that so many "good ideas don't get implemented" and concluded, "JSPAN is about marshalling the great ideas, that is what activism is about." The organization Mark oversees uses the courts of South Africa along with suasion and other tools of civil activism to bring treatment and education to those in need. Jeff Pasek, JSPAN President, presented the award. He saluted Dean Ferguson of the Temple University law school on the international programs she has developed to teach human rights and civil liberties around the world and here. Jeff noted Alan Lerner's good works from his days as a civil rights worker in Mississippi registering voters, to his litigation career as a partner at the Cohen Shapiro law firm, to his current interdisciplinary program for the advancement of child advocacy methods and training as a member of the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Ferguson complimented JSPAN and all those present for their work in tikkun olam, the repair of the world. Lerner responded with an endorsement of social action, and the ability of the small actions of many people to achieve large dimension and to produce significant social change. The award program was one of JSPAN's largest events to date, with over two hundred subscribers filling the Pyramid Club reception rooms to capacity.       More Pictures: