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Marvin E. Johnson Award
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The Marvin E. Johnson Diversity & Equity Award was established as a tribute to Marvin Johnson, a long-time member of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (SPIDR), an ACR Board Member and a champion of diversity and equity throughout the dispute resolution field.  It recognizes a sustained, outstanding contribution or a specific extraordinary achievement that has enhanced diversity and equity within an area of society.  The award honors individuals and organizations who have successfully contributed to removing barriers or obstacles to full and equal participation at all levels of society.  Recipients are those who have contributed to bridging the divides between groups of people or have successfully created opportunities for expanded diversity and equality within an area of specialty, a community or beyond.

2018 Recipients: Kenneth Cloke

Ken Cloke began work on civil rights issues while at Reseda High School, where he focused initially on fair housing.  In 1960, as a student at UC Berkeley, he continued supported fair housing and equal employment opportunity, and in the spring of 1960 picketed Woolworths on behalf of students sitting in at lunch counters in Greensboro North Carolina.  He joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and worked closely with John Lewis and other civil rights workers to support the Southern movement.  In 1961, he organized the San Fernando Valley Chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), which quickly  the largest CORE chapter in the country, and helped organize, recruit for and support the Southern Freedom Rides.  He also supported Chicano and Phillipino farm workers in what later became the United Farm Workers.

He continued as an organizer for SNCC, especially in the Bay Area, and was one of the principle organizers of the Law Students Civil Rights Research Council.  In 1964, he went South and was a civil rights worker in Selma and Montgomery and Greensboro County, Alabama; and in Albany, Americus and Baker and Terrell Counties in Georgia.  He also worked as a law clerk for civil rights attorney C. B. King in Albany Georgia, and supported the Albany Civil Rights Movement.

In the Bay Area, he helped edit the Civil Rights Handbook, worked on a number of high profile civil rights lawsuites and became active in the Ad Hoc Committee Against Discrimination, where he picketed Mel’s Drive Ins, the Sheraton Palace Hotel and Cadillac Row in the San Francisco Bay Area, and worked as a law student on the legal defense teams for those arrested in sit-ins.

After graduating from Boalt Law School, he worked as a lawyer for many diverse movement organizations, supported the development of legal assistance for civil rights workers in Selma Alabama,  and worked for Hawthorne Legal Aid and Venice Legal Aid in California, where he represented poor people from diverse underserved communities, and was a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow representing many movement organizations from the Black Panther Party and Brown Berets to members of the Women’s and Gay Liberation Movements, bringing law suits and conducting political trials on behalf of activists in these movements.

In 1980, he became a mediator with the Neighborhood Justice Center in Los Angeles and mediated community disputes.  He helped organize and train the leadership and staff at the Martin Luther King Dispute Resolution Center, Asian Pacific-American Dispute Resolution Center, and Centinela Valley Services, a community mediation program serving diverse communities.

After the Rodney King arrest and civil unrest in LA, he trained FEMA workers on how to conduct dialogues between members of diverse communities.  He helped design and conduct trainings in dozens of organizations and communities on prejudice reduction and bias awareness, and on sexual harassment and gender discrimination.  He has been a mediator and trainer for the EEOC, and conducted hundreds of discrimination and sexual harassment mediations.

In  2006, he founded and became first President of Mediators Beyond Borders and has worked in over 25 countries in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe and the Middle East.  He is currently working with Combatants for Peace, composed of former soldiers for the Israeli Defense Force, Hamas, Fatah, and similar armed groups.  

Past Recipients:
2018     Hon. Timothy K. Lewis
2017     Dr. Terry Flowers
2016      Sandra S. Yamate
2015     Peacebuilders International (Canada) for their work with young people using restorative circles
2014     Tim Wise for his anti-race work
2013     Awarded Posthumously to Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens
2012     Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, for his diversity efforts in the a number of areas in the state of Maryland and commitment to ADR
2011     Navajo Elder James Peshlakai, for dedicating his life to the preservation of the Navajo culture
2010     Susan Collins Marks and John Marks, were honored for the international peacemaking work they do through Search for Common Ground
2009      Nelson and Joyce Johnson, the leaders of the work to create the first US Truth Commission in Greensboro, N.C.
2008     The Rev. Mpho A.Tutu, Executive Director of the Tutu Institute for Prayer and Pilgrimage., for her ministries for children in Massachusetts, for rape survivors in South Africa and for refugees. She eared her MDiv from Episcopal Divinity Schoo in Cambridge, MA.

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