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Justice Potter Stewart Award Dinner 2023

26th Annual Justice Potter Stewart Award Dinner

May 2023 (Date TBA)
6:00 PM Reception
7:00 PM Dinner & Awards Presentation
Organization of American States
17th Street and Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006


As the former director of PDS, Avis E. Buchanan supported the delivery of defense and related legal and non-legal services to people charged with crimes in the local District of Columbia courts who cannot afford to hire an attorney. She also led PDS in its representation of children in delinquency cases and of people in civil commitment matters in the city’s mental health courts.

After graduating from Michigan State University and Harvard Law School, Ms. Buchanan worked as a law clerk for the late Honorable Theodore J. McMillian of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. In 1982, Ms. Buchanan joined PDS as a staff attorney, doing criminal defense work for six and a half years. For the next 13 years, Ms. Buchanan served as staff attorney, director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Project, and then director of Litigation at the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, where she was primarily responsible for litigating individual and class action employment and public accommodations cases in various federal and local courts. Ms. Buchanan rejoined PDS in 2002 as its deputy director. She was PDS’s director from 2004 until her retirement in 2022. 

Project CHANGE is the District of Columbia’s coordinated hospital-based violence intervention program.  Begun in 2016 with the award of a federal grant from the Office for Victims of Crime to the DC Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG), Project CHANGE has now grown to encompass all trauma centers serving the District’s residents and visitors.  MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Community Violence Intervention Program (CVIP), Howard University Hospital’s TRIUMPH Program, University of Maryland Medical Center Capital Region Health’s Capital Area Violence Intervention Program (CAPVIP), George Washington University Hospital’s and United Medical Center’s Far Southeast Family Supportive Collaborative Hospital Responder Program, and Children’s National Hospital’s Violence Intervention Program for Youth are all are active members of the program.  Through this dynamic collaboration, any victim of community violence in the District of Columbia has access to critical, lifesaving post-injury support and ensure that the services provided at each hospital meet minimum standards of care, are working together to build the careers of the violence interventionists serving the hospitals, and are receiving high-quality, continuous training.  Since its inception, Project CHANGE partner sites have served over 2,000 victims of community violence.

Hon. Karl A. Racine became the District of Columbia’s first elected Attorney General in 2015. Since taking office, AG Racine has fought relentlessly for all residents – but particularly for the most vulnerable Washingtonians to help build a stronger, more just, and more equitable District for today and tomorrow. He has prioritized preserving affordable housing, employing evidence-based juvenile justice reforms, cracking down on slumlords, holding unscrupulous employers accountable for wage theft, and protecting consumers from scams and abusive business practices. Over the course of his career, he has worked at the D.C. Public Defender Service, where he represented District residents who could not afford a lawyer, served as Associate White House Counsel to President Bill Clinton, and worked on criminal cases and complex civil litigation at private firms. While in private practice, he was elected managing partner of his firm, Venable LLP, and became the first African-American managing partner of a top-100 American law firm. Outside of his official role, Attorney General Racine remains involved with a variety of causes, including youth literacy and mentoring.


 Thank you to our 2023 Sponsors!


President's Circle


Justice Guardian


 Justice Leader
Baker Botts LLP  Boies Schiller Flexner LLP  Galena Yorktown Foundation  Jones Day
Thorn & Sharis Pozen  Zuckerman Spaeder LLP

Justice Patron
Brown, Goldstein, Levy LLP ♦ Shelley Broderick ♦ UDC David A. Clarke School of Law
Webster & Frederickson, PLLC  

Justice Advocate 
Dwight Murray ♦ Proskauer Rose LLP  

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Sponsor the dinner! Ticket sales will be available at a later date.

Details about sponsorships are available HERE, or you may email Sarah Baczewski or call (202) 785-5917 with questions or to secure your 2023 sponsorship. 

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 About the Justice Potter Stewart Award ♦ Past Award Recipients

You can check also out photos from last year's event, or watch the evening’s moving remarks 

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