Eight honored at the annual Judicial Friends gala
Judges Bundy Smith, Abdus-Salaam and Townes honored posthumously
The Foundation for the Judicial Friends held its 37th annual Rivers, Toney, Watson
Annual Dinner Gala at the Tribeca Rooftop on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
In recognition of their contributions to ensure diversity and justice in the judicial system and the community, the Foundation, in conjunction with The Judicial Friends Association, posthumously honored Court of Appeals Judges Hon. Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first African-American woman named to that court; Hon. George Bundy Smith, a stalwart of the Court; and Hon. Sandra Townes, the first African-American woman to serve in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
In addition, Hon. L. Priscilla Hall, Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department (Ret.) was honored with the Hon. Myles A. Paige Award; Hon. Rowan Wilson was presented the Hon. Jane M. Bolin Award; and Achievement Awards were bestowed upon Hon. Tamiko Amaker, Administrative Judge, New York City Criminal Court; Hon. Desmond Green,
Administrative Judge, Richmond County, the first African-American to be so designated; and Hon. Kathie E. Davidson, the first African-American named Administrative Judge, 9th Judicial District.
Finally, the organizations awarded the 2018 Commitment to Justice Scholarships to Ibrahim Diallo of Columbia Law School and Kennesha Allums of CUNY Law School, who also represented the five other winners, Ehiguina Borha and Alea Robers of of New York Law School; Shania Felix of Pace Law School; Julian Martinez of Hofstra Law School; and Genesis Sanchez-Tavarez of Columbia Law School.
Established in 1981 and named in honor of the first three African-American Judges elected to office in New York state, this event is now an annual affair sponsored by the Foundation for Judicial Friends.
Judges James S. Watson and Charles E. Toney were elected to the Municipal Court of the City of New York in the general election of 1930 and took office in Jan. 1931. Both judges served with distinction in that county for two decades. Judge Toney retired in 1951 and Judge Watson resigned in 1950 to become the president of the Municipal Civil Service Commission of the City of New York.
Judge Francis E. Rivers was elected to the City Court of the City of New York in 1943 and was re-elected with tri-partisan support to a second 10-year term in 1953. He was certified to serve as Acting Justice of the Supreme Court in 1953 and retired in 1963. He was the first African American to become a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Judge Rivers also served as president and president emeritus of the board of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
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