SOURCE: John Jay College of Criminal Justice

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

February 18, 2016 15:37 ET

Bryan Stevenson, Gloria Steinem and Anthony Mcgill to Receive 2016 John Jay Medal for Justice

Fierce Advocate Award to Be Presented to Jerome F. Buting and Dean Strang With Presenters Bill Keller, Ellen Burstyn and Matthew VanBesien

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - February 18, 2016) - John Jay College of Criminal Justice will award the John Jay Medal for Justice to Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative; Gloria Steinem, activist and author of My Life On the Road; and Anthony McGill, Principal Clarinet of the New York Philharmonic; on Thursday, March 3 at 6:30 PM during a ceremony at the College's Gerald W. Lynch Theater at 524 West 59th Street. In addition, the Fierce Advocate Award will be presented to Jerome F. Buting and Dean Strang, criminal defense attorneys featured in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer."

 "The John Jay Medal for Justice and the Fierce Advocate Award recognize exceptional individuals for their extraordinary contributions to justice," said John Jay President Jeremy Travis. "Our honorees affirm the commitment of John Jay the man and John Jay College to strengthen society's social fabric through justice and civic engagement."

The awards will be presented by Bill Keller, Editor-in-Chief of The Marshall Project and former Executive Editor of The New York Times; Ellen Burstyn, Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning actress; and Matthew VanBesien, President of the New York Philharmonic.

The special ceremony will also include musical performances by Metropolitan Opera soloists Janinah Burnett, soprano, and Terry Cook, bass-baritone; along with Sirena Huang, violin, recent Singapore International Competition Winner.

Created in 2008, the award honors leaders for their dedication to the cause of justice. Previous John Jay Medal winners include Elie Wiesel, author, Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; the late Judith Kaye, former Chief Judge of the State of New York; Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland; B.J. Bernstein, prominent Atlanta attorney; the NYU Brennan Center for Justice; Leymah Gbowee, Liberian activist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; the Innocence Project; the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project; Sunitha Krishnan, founder and President of Prajwala; Marian Wright Edelman, founder and President of the Children's Defense Fund; Sheriff Thomas J. Dart of Cook County, Illinois; Dr. Hawa Abdi, Somali human rights activist; Harry Belafonte, actor, musician and civil rights activist; and the Rev. Vivian Nixon, Executive Director of the College and Community Fellowship.

The Justice Award Ceremony is made possible by the gracious support of Anne Beane Rudman, a Trustee of the John Jay College Foundation; Richard Tarlow and Kristin Kehrberg. For details about the ceremony, click here.

About the John Jay Medal for Justice Recipients:


Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, has dedicated his legal career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned, winning legal challenges to eliminate unfair sentencing, exonerate innocent death-row prisoners, confront abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aid children prosecuted as adults. He has won reversals, relief or release for over 115 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row.


Gloria Steinem is a writer, lecturer, political activist, feminist organizer and founder of Ms. magazine. A frequent media spokeswoman on issues of equality, she recently published My Life on the Road -- a profound story of a lifetime spent listening and connecting to women internationally that has allowed Ms. Steinem to become part of a revolutionary movement for equality that would change the world.


Anthony McGill, Principal Clarinet of the New York Philharmonic, is committed to transformative leadership as a role model and educator who dedicates much of his time pro bono to working with young African-American and Hispanic musicians and youth orchestras. An impassioned advocate for justice, he works with incarcerated youth to lead them toward a healthy future when they reenter society.

About the Fierce Advocate Award Recipients:


Criminal defense attorneys Dean Strang and Jerome Buting worked on the case of Steven Avery, who was wrongly convicted of sexual assault and attempted murder in 1985 and served 18 years in prison. The case, and Avery's subsequent arrest and conviction for an unrelated homicide, became the basis for the 2015 Netflix documentary series "Making a Murderer" which raised important questions about the fallibility of the justice system. The widely celebrated advocacy of Strang and Buting, coupled with their eloquent defense of the presumption of innocence, demonstrates their commitment to the principles of justice.

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice:

An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit

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