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Prof. Wade Henderson Receives 2012 Houston Medallion of Merit from the Washington Bar Association

Wednesday, May 9, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Max Rodriguez
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Wade Henderson, President and CEO of The Leadership Conference and the Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. Chair of Public Interest Law, and The Honorable Inez Smith Reid, Senior Judge for the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, received the 2012 Charles Hamilton Houston Medallion of Merit from the Washington Bar Association. The award was presented at the Washington Bar Association’s Law Day Dinner 2012 on Saturday, May 5th.

WBA 2012 Law Day

From left to right: Edward Silva (2L PT), Julia Gagne (1L), Paula Gibbs (1L), Prof. Wade Henderson,
and Isela Martin (1L PT). Photo Credit: Robert Newman (2L PT).


The Houston Medallion of Merit is presented in honor of Charles Hamilton Houston, one of the founders of the Washington Bar Association. Working with protégés such as Thurgood Marshall and Spottswood Robinson, Houston developed the strategy to use law and litigation to effectuate social change. As General Counsel to the NAACP, he challenged the separate but equal doctrine by demonstrating that educational facilities for Black students were, in fact, far inferior to the facilities provided for white students. After years of litigation in several states, the Supreme Court ultimately discarded the separate but equal myth by holding in Brown v. Board of Education, that racial segregation in public schools is, by definition, unequal and therefore, violated the Constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law. The Washington Bar Association started awarding the Houston Medallion of Merit in 1975, giving the award to an individual who demonstrates a commitment to Charles Houston's ideals and jurisprudence.

Past recipients of the award include the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Hon. Thurgood Marshall, Dorothy Height, and Jack H. Olender, Esq.

For more information about Professor Wade Henderson visit his faculty bio. For more information about the Law Day Dinner 2012 visit the Washington Bar Association or read their June 2012 newsletter.

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