Monday, May 7, 2018

Kennedy Award Winners address U.S. Human Rights Issues

Last week, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights announced this year's Book and Journalism Award winners.  

Journalism awards range from "Home Sick," analyzing the prevalence of asthma in Baltimore's low income neighborhoods, to Alabama Public Radio's coverage of the state's rural health crisis.

The prestigious book award went to The Blood of Emmett Till, by Timothy B. Tyson, a reexamination of a pivotal event of the civil rights movement—the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till -- a timely award in light of the newly opened National Memorial for Peace and Justice

A special award was issued to law professor Peter Edelman for his most recent book, Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America.  According to Edelman, "[t]hrough money bail systems, fees and fines, strictly enforced laws and regulations against behavior including trespassing and public urination that largely affect the homeless, and the substitution of prisons and jails for the mental hospitals that have traditionally served the impoverished, in one of the richest countries on Earth we have effectively made it a crime to be poor."

Maria Foscarinis, Founder and Executive Director of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, reviewed Not a Crime to be Poor here, calling it "a critical and searing look at the criminalization of poverty in America."

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