The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) celebrated its 27th annual National Equal Justice Award Dinner, on November 12, 2013 at the Hilton New York Hotel and Towers, 1335 Avenue of the Americas (between 53rd and 54th Streets) in New York City.  The evening began at 6:30 pm with a reception, followed by the dinner and program at 7:30 pm.  The program ended at 9:30 pm, and guests were invited to enjoy live jazz music and dessert immediately following the program.

This year LDF presented three awards:

George Soros: Philanthropist and founder of the Open Society Foundations and international supporter of ideals and causes for more than 30 years received the National Equal Justice Award.  This award was presented to Mr. Soros by Raymond J. McGuire, Global Head, Corporate and Investment Banking for Citi.

David Mills: Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, a life-long advocate for social justice and a Co-Chair of the LDF Board of Directors received the Thurgood Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award.  This award was presented to Mr. Mills by Theodore V. Wells, Jr., Partner and Co-Chair of Litigation, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. 

Soledad O’Brien: Award-winning journalist, producer and distinguished Visiting Fellow at Harvard University received the LDF Spirit of America Award.  Ms. O’Brien’s award was presented by Sherrilyn A. Ifill, LDF’s 7th President and Director-Counsel.

Susan Fales-Hill, Author and Television Producer, was this year’s Mistress of Ceremonies. LDF Board Members Angela Vallot, Partner, VallotKarp Consulting, LLC., and Judith Byrd, President, Byrd Retail Group served as Co-Chairs of NEJAD. Gabriella Morris, a member of the LDF Board and former President of the Prudential Foundation and Laurie Robinson Haden, Senior Vice President & Assistant General Counsel, CBS, served as Vice chairs of NEJAD.

Special highlights included a video that provided a glimpse of LDF’s present challenges. LDF is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans.