Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
October 15, 2004
Contact: Brandon Dudley, (713) 236-0306

Senator Rodney Ellis to receive Frederick Douglass Equal Justice Award in Washington D.C.

(Washington D.C.)// -- Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston), will be presented with the Frederick Douglass Equal Justice Award in recognition of his work to ensure fair and quality legal representation for the poor and his contribution to the national debate on fairness in the criminal justice system. Senator Ellis will receive the award and serve as the keynote speaker at the annual Frederick Douglass Awards Dinner on Thursday, October 21, 2004, at 7 p.m., at the JW Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C.

"It is a tremendous honor to receive an award in the name of one of the true heroes in the struggle for justice and equality in the history of our nation," said Ellis. "Hopefully in the years to come we can continue to make progress towards establishing a legal system that truly stands for the qualities for which Mr. Douglass fought so hard."

Past speakers and recipients of the award have included Senators Edward Kennedy and Patrick Leahy, Congressman John Lewis, civil rights leader Joseph E. Lowery, and Illinois Governor George Ryan. The dinner is sponsored by the Southern Center for Human Rights, which is involved in efforts to improve legal representation for poor people accused of crimes, defend people facing the death penalty, and protect the human rights of people in prisons and jails in the South.

"I have been tremendously impressed by Senator Ellis in all regards.... for the work that he has done to improve representation for poor people accused of crimes in Texas and for this contribution to the national debate on fairness in the criminal justice system," said Stephen B. Bright, Director of Southern Center for Human Rights.

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