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March 15 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm



The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit, 1114 Washington Boulevard, Detroit, MI, 48226

March 15th, 2019

Registration and Networking @ 11:30a.m
Event begins at Noon.    


McCree Award Recipient: Kary L. Moss, Director, Affiliate Support & Nationwide Initiatives for the American Civil Liberties Union

Special Keynote Speaker: Senator Debbie Stabenow!

The Wade H. McCree, Jr. Award for the Advancement of Social Justice honors individuals or organizations who have made significant contributions to the advancement of social justice.

It is named in memory and honor of Wade H. McCree, Jr.,  Judge McCree was born in Des Moines, Iowa. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree at Fisk University and his law degree at Harvard Law School, where he finished twelfth in his class. He began his legal career at the Detroit firm of Bledsoe and Taylor in 1948. In 1952, he was appointed by Governor G. Mennen Williams to the Workmen’s Compensation Commission, where he served until 1954, when Governor Williams appointed him to the Wayne County Circuit Court. Judge McCree was then appointed by President John F. Kennedy to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in 1961, and by President Lyndon B. Johnson to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 1966. Judge McCree resigned from the Sixth Circuit in March 1977 to accept appointment by President Jimmy Carter as Solicitor General of the United States.

Wade McCree served as Solicitor General until June 1981, when he was appointed the Lewis M. Simes Professor of Law at the University of Michigan, where he taught until his death. While a member of the University of Michigan Law School faculty, Professor McCree was appointed by the United States Supreme Court to hear three cases as a Special Master.

Judge McCree cared deeply about education. A founder of the Higher Education Opportunities Committee at Wayne State University and a founding trustee of Friends School in Detroit, he was a Trustee at Fisk University and a member of the Visiting School Committees of Harvard Law School and Mercer University Law School. He also served as an Overseer of Harvard College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School and on the Visiting Committees of the Law Schools at Wayne State University, the University of Chicago, Case Western Reserve University and the University of Miami.

Judge McCree’s service to the legal profession and the community included active membership on more than 50 committees, councils and boards. He also was a Life Member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and served on the Board of the Detroit Round Table of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, as well as on the boards of numerous charitable and cultural organizations.

The Chapter’s McCree Award for the Advancement of Social Justice is nationally acknowledged as one of the most prestigious awards in recognition of contribution to the community.

We are extremely pleased to have as our Keynote Speaker U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow!

About Debbie Stabenow

Born in Gladwin and raised in Clare, Debbie Stabenow knows what matters to Michigan. Elected to the United States Senate in 2000, she is respected for her ability to build coalitions to get things done for Michigan and our nation.

As Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and as a member of the Senate Energy, Finance, and Budget Committees, she has a powerful and unique role to play in shaping our nation’s manufacturing, health care, and agriculture policies, which are so critical to our future.

Among her many accomplishments, she has cut taxes for small businesses and passed initiatives to revitalize our manufacturing sector. Senator Stabenow authored a bipartisan Farm Bill that is strengthening Michigan agriculture and making unprecedented investments in protecting the Great Lakes. She has played a leading role in making positive reforms to health care, and she successfully passed far-reaching reforms to improve our nation’s mental health system.

She is a true friend and fighter for Michigan.

Early Life & Career

Growing up in Clare, Debbie Stabenow learned the value of a hard-day’s work from her parents. Her family owned the local Oldsmobile dealership, and her mother was Director of Nursing at the local hospital. She graduated at the top of her class from Clare High School and went on to receive her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Michigan State University. She worked with youth in the public schools before running for public office.

Senator Stabenow was inspired to first run for office after leading a successful effort to stop the closure of a local nursing home. She was elected to the Ingham County Board of Commissioners when she was 24 years old, and in just two years, was elected Chair of the Board. She was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives where she served for twelve years (1979-90) and to the State Senate where she served for four years (1991-94). Her influence as a State Legislator is evident throughout Michigan law – from Michigan’s historic property tax cut and small business reforms, to nationally acclaimed legislation to protect children and families.

Elected to the U.S. Congress in 1996 representing Michigan’s Eighth Congressional District, she made history in 2000 when she became the first woman from the State of Michigan elected to the United States Senate.

A Michigan Voice in Senate Leadership

Today, in addition to serving as Michigan’s senior U.S. Senator, Debbie Stabenow is a member of the Senate leadership. As Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Center, she makes sure there is Michigan voice at the table and that Congress’ priorities stay in line with the priorities of middle class families.

A Focus on Job Creation

Creating jobs in Michigan is Senator Stabenow’s top priority. She has committed herself to bringing jobs back to Michigan and to ensuring that Michigan is a destination for the jobs of the future. As Co-Chair of the bipartisan Senate Manufacturing Caucus, she has been a leader in leveling the playing field in international trade and for giving our workers the skills they need to excel in the international marketplace. As Senator Stabenow likes to say, “We want to export our products, not our jobs.” So she is fighting against countries that manipulate their currency to put American-made products at a competitive disadvantage. As new international trade agreements are being negotiated, Senator Stabenow has called for the removal of trade barriers that hurt American businesses. And she has made clear that if a trade agreement doesn’t work for our workers, then it doesn’t work for America, which is why she supports a race-to-the-top framework that would compel our trading partners to raise their standards on wages, environmental responsibility and working conditions.

A Champion for Health Care Quality and Access

Senator Stabenow believes that high-quality, affordable health care should be available to every American. She worked to ensure that the Affordable Care Act promoted comprehensive coverage for women, including maternity care, and she supported provisions that lower the cost of prescription drugs for seniors. She also made mental health parity in the law a top priority. In 2014 she successfully passed legislation that included language based on her Excellence in Mental Health Act, which provides funding for an expansion of mental health services. One of the most significant steps forward in mental health funding in decades, this program enables people to go to clinics in their community to receive 24-hour crisis counseling and integrated treatment not only for mental illness but for substance abuse and trauma. In recognition of these achievements, Senator Stabenow was honored with an awards from the Sandy Hook Promise and Green Door, an organization that promotes independence for people with mental illness.

As Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care, Senator Stabenow is a champion for Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. She has been recognized for her success making prescription drugs more affordable.

She is also a leading advocate of community health centers, which provide affordable, high-quality care in over 180 communities in Michigan. As part of the Affordable Care Act, Senator Stabenow ensured that these health centers would get immediate assistance to expand their operations and provide primary care services to up to 25 million Americans in need. The American Hospital Association, the Michigan Primary Care Association, the National Association of Community Health Centers and the Michigan Hospital Association have all recognized Senator Stabenow for her health care advocacy.

An Advocate for Michigan’s Diverse Agricultural Industry

Senator Stabenow knows that we don’t have an economy unless we make things and grow things – and this is especially key in Michigan’s economy. So in addition to taking actions to strengthen Great Lakes manufacturing, she has been a forceful advocate for policies that will power growth in Michigan agriculture – the state’s second biggest source of jobs.

In writing the 2014 Farm Bill, Senator Stabenow streamlined more than 100 programs while making historic investments in land and water conservation, clean energy, local food systems, specialty crops and is helping to reinvigorate the economies of small towns and rural communities through her support of cutting-edge research and biobased manufacturing. The bipartisan food and farm legislation also put an end to unnecessary subsidies in favor of expanding crop insurance to ensure that farmers won’t go out of business when a weather disaster strikes.

A Protector of Our Great Lakes

After her election to the U.S. Senate, the first bill Senator Stabenow passed into law was a ban on oil and gas drilling in the Great Lakes. She has consistently fought against attempts to divert water out of the Great Lakes. The Stabenow-authored Farm Bill will help protect the Great Lakes and other precious natural resources by strengthening conservation programs by bringing together farmers, businesses, conservationists, university researchers state agencies and nonprofits as stakeholders in the quality of Great Lakes water. With funds secured through Farm Bill programs, they are working together to provide healthy soil, clean water and wildlife habitat.

As Co-Chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, Senator Stabenow is also leading the fight to protect our waters from the threat posed by invasive species, and the risks that come from oil pipelines and a nuclear waste facility the Canada government is proposing to build on the shores of Lake Huron. Through her role on the Senate Budget Committee, Senator Stabenow helped to create the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which has made it possible for Michigan communities to restore the quality of their water and to strengthen wildlife habitats harmed by pollution. In recent years, no one has fought harder to secure federal funding in support of the Great Lakes, from cleaning up and restoring our waterways to modernizing the coastal infrastructure that links Michigan businesses to the global economy.

Michigan Through and Through

With six offices around the State, Senator Stabenow prides herself on being responsive to Michigan residents who are having issues with federal programs, and she fights to get the resources that local communities need, such as more police officers, new hospital emergency rooms and life-saving equipment for local fire departments. For those efforts she has been honored by the Police Officers Association of Michigan and the Michigan Association of Fire Fighters.

A musician at heart, Senator Stabenow sings and plays both the piano and the guitar. She grew up performing with her family in church and at many community functions. Her home is in Lansing, where she is a lifelong Methodist and a member of Grace United Methodist Church. She has two grown children, Todd and Michelle; a daughter-in-law, Sara; a son-in-law, Scott; and four beautiful grandchildren.

Past Recipients of the Wade Hampton McCree Jr. Award for the Advancement of Social Justice:

1990 George W. Crockett & Dennis W. Archer

1991 Ernest Goodman

1992 Mildred Jeffrey

1995 Damon J. Keith

1996 George W. Romney

1997 Fr. William Cunningham

1998 William G. Milliken

1999 Maryann Mahaffey

2001 Alternatives for Girls

2002 Saul A. Green

2003 Eleanor M. Josaitis

2004 Friends School of Detroit

2005 Eugene Driker

2006 Freedom House

2007 Father Norman P. Thomas

2008 Jack Kresnak

2009 The “Neal Legal Team”

2010 Mary Sue Coleman

2011 Kathleen Straus

2012 Martin I. Reisig

2013 Florise Neville-Ewell & PBJ Outreach

2014 Dr. Daniel H. Krichbaum

2015 John Van Camp

2016 Former United States Senator Carl Levin

2017 Mark Davidoff

2018 Faith Fowler

2019 Kary L. Moss

The Criteria: Significant Contributions to the Advancement of Social Justice.
These contributions may include advancing social justice in areas involving poverty, promoting economic or educational opportunity, or fighting discrimination involving race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or economic status. The recipient may be selected from any field of endeavor including law, social service, community organization, volunteer activities, journalism, academics or the like.

Nominations for the 2019 McCree Award will remain open until February 16, 2018. and submitted to Chapter Executive Director Mindy Herrmann at and Committee Chair Cynthia Haffey at using the below nomination form.



March 15
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Mindy Herrmann


Westin Book Cadillac Hotel
1114 Washington Blvd
Detroit, MI 48226 United States
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