Kelley Henry, Rolanda Holman, and Andrew Hundley to be Honored by the Southern Center for Human Rights
On Thursday, November 10th, the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR), one of the nation’s leading nonprofit criminal legal transformation law firms, will host its flagship gala, the Frederick Douglass Awards Dinner.
This year, SCHR will honor Kelley Henry and Rolanda Holman with its Human Rights Award, and Andrew Hundley with its Equal Justice Award. Ms. Henry, Ms. Holman, and Mr. Hundley have all distinguished themselves in the fight for a more just society. As recipients of these awards, they join a prestigious group of prior honorees, including Senator Cory Booker, Bryan Stevenson, Congressman John Lewis, and Reverend Joseph Lowery. The keynote speaker for the awards dinner will be Paul Butler, the Albert Brick Professor in law at Georgetown University Law Center, MSNBC legal analyst, and author of Chokehold: Policing Black Men.
Rolanda Holman is the loving and devoted sister to Pervis Payne, who spent 34 years on death row in Tennessee for a crime he did not commit. Ms. Holman was just 13 when her brother was arrested. She has spent the last 35 years fighting to prove her brother’s innocence and championing his story.
“The Southern Center for Human Rights is an organization that understands the perseverance and resilience it takes to fight for justice for people impacted by the criminal legal system,” Ms. Holman said. “It is an honor to be recognized for the dedicated work done in my brother’s case and the work of the Free Pervis Payne Campaign. I am humbled to receive this prestigious Fredrick Douglass Award.”
Kelley Henry is the Chief of the Federal Public Defender Capital Habeas Unit in Nashville, Tennessee, and lead counsel for Pervis Payne. In 2021, Mr. Payne’s death sentence was vacated. He was re-sentenced to concurrent life terms under a change in Tennessee law prompted by the decades of zealous litigation and advocacy surrounding his case.
“The Southern Center for Human Rights is the standard bearer for client-centered advocacy,” said Ms. Henry. “I have long admired the team of dedicated professionals who work there. Over the years, the team at SCHR has built on Steve Bright’s legacy to set the highest standards in fighting for their clients’ rights, and in turn, all of our rights. In doing so, they shine a light on our clients’ humanity. I am extremely humbled to receive this award from this amazing organization, and to be included among the extraordinary group of prior recipients.”
Andrew Hundley is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Louisiana Parole Project, an organization providing parole and clemency advocacy and reentry support to people sentenced to life or other extreme sentences in Louisiana. The parole rate in the state hovers around a dismal 45% for people convicted of “violent” offenses; 73% of Parole Project clients are paroled.
“It is a great honor to receive this award from the Southern Center for Human Rights, an organization with a distinguished record of fighting for equality and justice,” said Andrew Hundley. “While our collective work is far from done, I am encouraged by the moment we are in and the opportunities we have to bring lasting change to the criminal legal system.”
The Southern Center for Human Rights’ 26th Annual Frederick Douglass Awards Dinner will be held on Thursday, November 10, 2022, at the Willard InterContinental Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC. Doors will open at 6 PM. Press are welcome to attend. Email Hannah Riley at [email protected] if interested.
Tickets and more information here.