National Bar Association, 1225 11th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
April 14, 2009
Hawai'i Friends Of Civil Rights Honors African American Lawyers Association And Others
(The African American Lawyers Association (AALA) was one of 4 recipients of the Second
Annual Dr. Martin Luther King's, Jr. Friends Awards presented by the Hawai'i Friends
of Civil Rights at the Pacific Club on January 25, 2009.
AALA founding members Andre S. Wooten, Daphne Barbee-Wooten, Sandra Simms and Rustam
Barbee were on hand to receive the honors. The award was in recognition of the organizations
ongoing efforts to promote justice and equality in our legal system and combat negative
stereotypes about African Americans and other marginalized groups since its chartering
in 1986. AALA's annual high school essay contests and its members' active and visible
involvement in the Hawaii legal community were cited. Certificates of recognition
were given by United States Congressman Neil Abercrombie, Senator Clayton Hee on
behalf of the Senate, Representative Jon Riki Nakamatsu on behalf of the House, and
by Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanneman. Other AALA founding members include William Harrison,
Jerry Wilson, and the late Judy Weightman.
In his acceptance remarks, Rustam Barbee spoke of his father's mentoring of him and
his sister's commitment to the quest for civil rights. Lloyd Barbee, was a Wisconsin
civil rights attorney and lawmaker who consistently insisted that his is driver's
license designate his race as "human". The state of Wisconsin was not amused and
consistently returned his license with the race marked as "colored", and later, "Negro".
Current officers are President Shana Peete, Vice President Khalid Mutjabaa, Sandra
Simms is secretary and Russ Barbee is treasurer.
Other HFCR honorees included Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng, UH head basketball Coach Bob Nash,
and longtime community activist and founder of the Community Alliance on Prisons,
Kat Brady. Dr. Soetoro-Ng's presentation capped a week of extraordinary history-making
as she arrived at the event directly from Washington D.C. and the inaugural celebrations
that made Hawaii born Barack Obama, the first black President of the United States
Faye Kennedy and Dr. Amy Agbayani are the co-chairs and organizers for the Hawai'i
Friends of Civil Rights