Attorney Ben Crump, left, with Lee Merritt, Esq., and Merritt’s mother. (Lila Brown/L.A. Sentinel)

The non-partisan, nonprofit, social welfare organization Equal Justice Now is adamant about attacking critical issues whether its systemic racism, police reform or voter suppression.

Led by civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, the Equal Justice Now Awards recognizes the trailblazers whose impactful contributions to society have propelled the movement for justice and equality in the United States throughout the past year.

For its third annual celebration, the prestigious awards ceremony was held on March 29 at the Los Angeles Marriott Hotel hosted by actor and media personality Terrence J. This year’s honorees included recipients of its various advocacy and excellency awards, including luminaries such as multi-Grammy nominated music icon Al B Sure for Excellence in Healthcare Advocacy; TV producer Mona Scott-Young for the Game Changer Award; and son and father boxing duo Devin and Bill Haney with the Sportsmanship Courage Award.

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Also, California Attorney General Rob Bonta was honored with the Public Justice Award and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was recognized with the Excellence in Empowering Women Award. Armstrong Williams, who was honored for his achievement as a media mogul, received the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award and South Carolina’s Richland County Corporal Kenny Fitzsimmons earned the Public Service Excellence Award.

“Right now, in America, we must exalt the struggle for equal justice. It’s about equal justice now more than ever,” declared Crump who is best known for representing the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, and Michael Brown as well as the residents of Flint, Michigan.

“We cannot let the enemies of equality rule the day. We are taking this opportunity to salute those champions of equal justice so it can renew their strength as they continue to go on the front line for all our children to have the opportunity of the American Dream,” Crump told members of the media during the red-carpet reception preceding the dinner.

Crump welcomes TV producer Mona Scott-Young as an honoree and media executive Jason Lee as an award presenter. (Lila Brown/L.A. Sentinel)

U.S. Congressional Representative Jasmine Crockett was also honored with the Excellency in Advocacy Award.

“Right now, people are so just over politics,” said Crockett upon accepting her award. “This is not the time that we can be over politics because politics isn’t over us. When you start talking about the work that Equal Justice Now and Ben is doing, it’s not whether you believe in diversity, equity, or inclusion, this is a fight for freedom.”

Created in 2003 by Tony Smith and Bill Shields, Equal Justice Now is building an organization that works for equality, celebrates fairness, and believing there’s more that joins us than separates us.

“Our time in history is a time of great challenge across political and ideological lines, we see immoral forces plucking at the tender fibers of our social interactions, which is the fabric of our fragile democracy,” remarked Smith.

“Our criminal justice system is deeply in need of reform. Each new day brings another story of the attempt to make a fundamental democratic right to vote even harder. We need you to join our fight to protect the republic that we love, to continue to forge the path of justice and equality, to stand shoulder to shoulder in the fight for a fair and just society.”

The evening concluded with songwriter Diane Warren presenting pop singer and actress Cher with the Icon Award and Judge Greg Mathis presenting George Clinton of Parliament-Funkadelic fame with the Legend Award.