TEXAS CIVIL RIGHTS PROJECT
22ND ANNUAL BILL OF RIGHTS DINNER
Presenting Keynote Speaker
Whose courageous anti-discrimination battle
inspired the bipartisan Ledbetter Fair Pay Act,
signed into law by President Barack Obama as
his first act in office.
Saturday, October 27th
University of Texas Alumni Center
Sponsors Reception 6:00pm
General Reception & Silent Auction 6:30pm
Judge Lora Livingston
The Bill of Rights Dinner celebrates the Bill of Rights of the United States, honors individuals striving for human rights, and raises funds that help to secure equal access to justice for low-income Texans.
For more information, contact Susan Harry at (512) 542-9744 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 1998, after working as a supervisor at the Goodyear tire factory in Gadsen, Alabama for nearly two decades, an anonymous co-worker delivered a note to Lilly Ledbetter’s mailbox. The note showed that Lilly had been making significantly less than her male peers for the very same work for years—as much as 40% less. Although Lilly had begun working at Goodyear in 1979 at the same salary as everyone else, discriminatory pay practices at the plant caused Lilly’s salary to slip relative to her male colleagues over seventeen years. Lilly discovered she had lost out on more than $200,000 in salary, and even more in pensions and benefits due to Goodyear’s discriminatory pay practices.
Lilly filed a sex discrimination case against Goodyear that she doggedly pursued to the Supreme Court. Eight years after she initially filed her case, in a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that although Lilly had suffered clear discrimination, she was not entitled to compensation. Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito argued that Lilly Ledbetter had filed her case too late. Lilly should have filed her complaint within 180 days after receiving her first discriminatory paycheck back in the 1980s– despite the fact that Goodyear’s policy to keep salaries confidential prevented Lilly from knowing she was paid unequally.
In a dramatic reading of her dissent from the bench, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg urged Lilly to fight back. Lilly continued her tireless work for equal treatment, and on January 29, 2009, President Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The law makes it easier to effectively challenge unequal pay by resetting the 180-day statute of limitations with each new discriminatory paycheck.
Lilly Ledbetter was born in April of 1938 in a house with no running water or electricity in Possum Trot, Alabama. Today, she lives in Jacksonville, Alabama and is a mother and grandmother.
Lilly lives with a constant reminder of Goodyear’s unequal treatment. Every penny of her retirement benefits today is based on the discriminatory pay she received from Goodyear. While Lilly has long since given up any expectation of return for the wages she lost while working at the Gadsen plant, she has taken her fight for equality to the road so that the next generation of women will get paid equally for the work that they do.
Lilly Ledbetter and President Obama at the signing of the Fair Pay Act
KRISTI COUVILLON PRO BONO AWARDS
John Castiglione, Tyler Nims, and Kelli Sussman – Latham & Watkins LLP — won a major victory in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals preventing the San Antonio Police Department from executing “no knock” warrants after officers broke into the home of an innocent lesbian couple and harassed them. (Bishop v. Arcuri)
Carly Milner, Ginny Maslin, and Chris Popov – Vinson & Elkins LLP — fighting a pending Fifth Circuit appeal on behalf of a prisoner whose case was tossed out of court on procedural grounds after a jail denied him medical care, causing his leg to be amputated. (Manemann v. Llano Co.)
Kyril Talanov, Trey Mahoney, and Casey Berger – Winston & Strawn LLP – in a pending case, helping a Native American prisoner practice his religious beliefs after the prison system banned Native American worship ceremonies. (Chance v. TDCJ)
Olga Kobzar and Joe Sanders – Scott, Douglass & McConnico, L.L.P. – in a pending case, helping drivers with hearing disabilities secure sign-language interpreters for driving tests after a change in state law. (Ivy v. TEA)
HENRY B. GONZÁLEZ AWARD
The Henry B. González Award is presented to an outstanding person from the community, who has organized and worked long and hard for human rights. TCRP is proud to present the 2012 Henry B. González Award to Jennifer Long. Jennifer is Director of Casa Marianella, a shelter and home for refugees from Latin America, Africa, and beyond, fleeing war, persecution, and abuse. Since 1998, Jennifer has worked tirelessly to address the needs of many residents Casa serves, and to help Casa grow in tough economic times. Whether it is finding space for one more asylee at 3 AM, or listening to the needs of a child in a strange new environment, Jennifer selflessly gives her time and herself to help hundreds who arrive on Casa’s doorstep every year. Under Jennifer’s leadership, Casa has grown from a single, un-air-conditioned house to half a dozen houses and a network of resources for immigrants and victims of violence with nowhere else to turn. Casa offers room and board, counseling, health care, clothing, education, social services, ESL, and legal representation.
TEXAS HERITAGE AWARD
TCRP is proud to present Renato Ramírez, Chairman of the Board and CEO of IBC-Zapata, with the Texas Heritage Award. Over twelve years, Mr. Ramírez lead the effort to bring the Tejano Monument to the Texas Capitol grounds. Under his leadership, his group of volunteers raised $2.4 million, passed three bills through the legislature, received unanimous approval from the State Preservation Board, and built the largest monument on any capitol grounds in the US, which was unveiled on March 29th this year. We salute his commitment to honor the contribution of Hispanics to Texas culture and Texas history