Vanguard Award to be presented to Justice William Cousins

Justice William Cousins Jr. (ret.) of the Illinois Appellate Court receives a 2011 Vanguard Award at a luncheon on April 20 at the Standard Club.

Justice William Cousins Jr. (ret.) of the Illinois Appellate Court receives a 2011 Vanguard Award at a luncheon on April 20 at the Standard Club. The event will be hosted by the Asian American Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, Cook County Bar Association, Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago and Puerto Rican Bar Association which honor lawyers and judges “who through their efforts have made the law and legal profession more accessible to and reflective of the community at-large.” Justice Cousins, the 2011 honoree of the Cook County Bar Association, served the city as an alderman of the 8th Ward, the county as a circuit court judge and the state as a judge on the Illinois Appellate Court.

“With this award, we honor Justice Cousins for his dedication to the cause of justice and inclusion for members of all communities and in the legal profession. We are delighted that he will receive the 2011 Vanguard Award along with other honorees who share our goals for the profession,” said Lawrence N. Hill, CCBA president.

Justice Cousins is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternities, Trinity United Church of Christ and a Hall of Famer of the National Bar Association, Cook County Bar Association and DuSable High School. The event begins with an 11:30 a.m. reception. To reserve $65 tickets, contact Tamra Drees at (312) 554-2057 or

Tribute Time – Acclaimed photographer Eric Werner will be saluted on Sunday at DuSable Museum beginning with a 3 p.m. reception, art sale and auction, followed by a tribute at 3:45 p.m. Eric has been facing health challenges for some time now, so proceeds will help to defer some of his medical expenses. A minimum donation of $25 is requested. Steering committee members include: Javin Foreman, Rendy Jones, Leroy Kennedy, Barbara Kensey, Azim Ramelize, Nicole Werner, LaKeisha Gray Sewell and Toussaint Werner, who can be reached at (773) 724-1489 for more info. Special thanks to DuSable Museum’s Dr. Carol Adams for providing the space.

Newsy Names We hear that Rev. Henry O. Hardy, pastor of Cosmopolitan Community Church, has announced to his faithful that he’s dissolving his 16-month marriage to the former Tandria Jemison, a hair designer and salon owner. They married in Nov. ’09 during nuptials conducted by Rev. Clay Evans. Rev. Hardy’s second surprise announcement to his parishioners: he is retiring as Cosmopolitan’s pastor after 44 years of leading the congregation. Who knew? Rev. Jacqueline Atkins, Barbara Bowles, Cheryl Bryson, Frank Clark, Elzie Higginbottom, John Hooker, Larry Lucas, Billie Paige, Madeline Murphy Rabb, John Rogers Jr. and Melody Spann-Cooper host a Unity Celebration Fundraiser with Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel as the special guest and honoring his mayoral opponent, Amb. Carol Moseley Braun, on April 21, 5 p.m., at Karyn’s on Green, 130 S. Green St. … Chicago State University will be joined by novelist, screenwriter, poet, journalist and talk show host Sam Greenlee to celebrate National Library Week. Greenlee is well know for his 1969 novel, “The Spook Who Sat by the Door”, and the 1973 movie by the same title. The novel and film are fictional accounts of an African American CIA operative who uses his skills to spearhead an urban war for liberation. National Library Week runs from April 10 to April 16.

Reunion Union – Alums of Mendel Catholic Prep High School (1951-1988), historically located in Chicago’s Roseland community, host an All-Class Reunion & Celebration on Friday, 6:30 p.m.-midnight, at the Lexington House, 7717 W. 95th St. in Hickory Hills, to commemorate 37 years of academic and athletic success and 60 years of the lasting achievements of its graduates. Mendel, recognized in 1979 as one of the 10 best high schools in the nation, graduated 72,000 young men who have gone on to become some of the most successful in America.

Among alumni: Jory and Fred Luster, chair and president of Luster Products; Terrance Gainer, sergeant at arms, U.S. Senate; Michael Sheahan, former superintendent, Cook County Sheriff’s Dept.; Robert Fioretti, former alderman, 2nd Ward; Howard Brookins, alderman, 21st Ward; Charles Tribbett, recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the top 50 most powerful executive recruiters in America; Leslie David Baker, who currently co-stars on the hit TV sitcom, “The Office”; Peter Cetera, co-founder of the rock group Chicago; Dennis DeYoung, co-founder of the 70s rock group Styx; and Judge Leroy K. Martin Jr., of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Over 60 percent of Mendel graduates have advanced degrees. For reservations and more info, call Anthony E Johnson (Class of 1979), Mendel Alumni Association, (708) 698-3111.

Happy B’Day – to Ald.-elect Roderick Sawyer, Bryant Johnson, Randy Crumpton, Melody McDowell, Bert Allen, Jill St. James, Clark Gabriel McCarrol Jr., Dawn Posey, Erin Toole Williams, Selena Odom, Gloria Kellum-Bell and Milton Griggs. And belated wishes to John Rogers, Jim Compton, Larry Englehart, Midge Kimberly, Senabella Gill, Jim Stricklin, Kimberly Edmonds, Charles Walker, Eric Thomas, Hank Meyer, Wanda J. Bishop. Susan Peters, Corky McClerkin, Nate Grant, Chef Cordell McCray, Grace Lajoy Little, Daniel Hammond.

Congrats – to our own Carol Bell, Defender’s director of finance, one of a select dozen who received a distinguished Rhomania Torch Award from Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority at Everything that Blings! at Chateau Del Mar. Spearheads: Bethel L. White, president; Carolyn G. Palmer, chair; and Jacquelynn D. Thweatt-Pippen, awards chair … Real Men Cook for Charity, national Father’s Day initiative co-founded by Yvette Moyo-Gillard, was honored at the 32nd Annual Drum Major for Justice Awards Dinner in Atlanta. It was given by SCLC/Women’s Organizational Movement for Equality Now Inc. in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the anniversary of his death. The award was presented by Evelyn Gibson Lowery, founding chair.

Speak Up! Atty. Thomas N. Todd (“TNT”), one of the most popular commencement speakers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities; Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., pastor emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ; and author Farai Chideya (prior to joining NPR’s “News & Notes,” she hosted a daily news and cultural call-in show in San Francisco), are among featured speakers at the 25th anniversary of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators’ 28th Annual National Conference, Saturday through Wednesday, here in Chicago.

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