ATLANTA –The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (LCCR) Under Law has awarded Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms the Distinguished Civil Rights Advocate Award in recognition of her equity-driven leadership to help guide and protect marginalized communities before and during one of the most tumultuous times in our nation’s history.
Named in honor of legendary Judge A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., LCCR’s Higginbotham Corporate Leadership Awards event is one of the largest gatherings in the civil rights and legal community.
“Our Administration’s vision for One Atlanta – an affordable, resilient and equitable city—drives each and every decision we make,” said Bottoms. “As the cradle of the Civil Rights movement, this mission ensures that endless opportunity for all and the protection of our most vulnerable communities remains woven into our city’s fabric. It is an honor to join a long list of distinguished and thoughtful leaders upon whom this distinguished honor has been bestowed.”
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a civil rights organization founded in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy. Its mission is to secure equal justice for all through the rule of law by enlisting the private bar’s leadership. Since its creation, the Lawyers’ Committee has served as an expert on civil rights matters, often testifying before Congress and issuing public statements on pressing civil rights challenges. The Lawyers’ Committee also works tirelessly to target inequities that confront African Americans and other minorities.
The Distinguished Civil Rights Advocate Award is conferred upon an individual who has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to advancing racial justice and civil rights. Bottoms is being recognized for her efforts to tear down systemic racism through the establishment of the City’s first-ever Mayor’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, known as One Atlanta.
One Atlanta has guided the City’s policies and practices impacting
eight critical areas. Mayor Bottoms has launched a number of programs and initiatives, and issued Administrative and Executive Orders to support the work of the One Atlanta Office:
- Affordable Housing (Emergency Rental Assistance Program for residents impacted by COVID-19)
- Criminal Justice Reform (Eliminated cash bail, stopped holding federal ICE detainees, and transforming the City Jail into a Center for Equity)
- Economic Development (One Atlanta: Economic Mobility, Recovery and Resiliency Plan —a comprehensive plan to ensure economic and quality-of-life security for Atlanta residents and businesses)
- Health Disparities (Administrative Order to address the alarming racial and ethnic health disparities underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic)
- Homelessness (Executive Order instituting a temporary moratorium on residential evictions and filings)
- LGBTQ Affairs (Appointed first-ever full-time LGBTQ Affairs coordinator, and recently hosted inaugural Virtual LGBTQ Opportunity Fair)
- Workforce Development (Merged WorkSource Atlanta with Invest Atlanta to better align efforts to help Atlantans build intergenerational wealth through good jobs)
- 2020 Census: ATL Counts (Launched an aggressive citywide outreach campaign to target underserved and undercounted individuals and families)
The award is also in recognition of Bottoms’ distinguished leadership in confronting the COVID-19 health crisis and addressing the stark and disproportionate impact of the pandemic on communities of color.
The City of Atlanta continues to provide relief for residents and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to a series of other actions, the City recently launched an Emergency Rental Assistance program, which provides $22 million through the Coronavirus Relief Fund to keep renters in their homes. The program is administered by the United Way of Greater Atlanta and will provide rental, utility, or security deposit assistance to more than 6,700 eligible Atlanta residents.
A comprehensive list of actions taken by Bottoms during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found online here.