On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, in recognition of decades of work advancing civil rights, staff attorney Michael Churchill will be honored as a Drum Major for Civil Rights at the Philadelphia Martin Luther King Jr. Association for Nonviolence’s annual awards and benefit luncheon. The Drum Major awards recognize persons and organizations whose deeds are exemplary of the vision fostered by Dr. King.
The luncheon will be held on January 20, 2020 in the Philadelphia 201 Hotel at 17th and Race Street in Philadelphia at noon, following a ceremonial ringing of the Liberty Bell in memory of Dr. King. Learn more about the event and purchase tickets here.
Michael Churchill served as a managing partner or co-director of the Law Center from 1976 until 2006, and currently serves as Of Counsel. He has fought for high quality public education for all of Pennsylvania’s children for more than three decades, and leads the Law Center’s litigation team challenging Pennsylvania’s inequitable and inadequate state system for school funding.
The Association reviewed a number of Mr. Churchill’s major accomplishments for the advancement of civil rights throughout his career and his work with the Law Center. “Active in civil rights matters since participating in the Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964,” they write, “his work covered a wide range of civil rights issues: attempting to empower African American communities in connection with the Model Cities program; attacking police misconduct in the Rizzo era and reducing the use of deadly force; increasing the numbers of African American and Latino police officers in Philadelphia by ending the use of discriminatory tests; and improving income in the Black community through successful employment discrimination cases which returned millions of dollars from discriminating employers.”
The Philadelphia Martin Luther King Jr. Association for Nonviolence, Inc., was founded in 1983 as the first and only affiliate of the King Center in Atlanta commissioned by Coretta Scott King, created to promote and perpetuate the nonviolent legacy of Dr. King. Their current program efforts are focused on academic and youth development programs while teaching principles of violence prevention.