The Daily Outrage

The CCR blog

A night to remember! CCR looks to the next 50 years

For 50 years, CCR has been a part of virtually every movement for civil and human rights. We have fought to redistribute power to the oppressed, the under-resourced, the criminalized, and the disenfranchised, and we have pursued cases and projects that aim to transform, rather than merely reform, oppressive structures.

Last night we celebrated this proud history with a fabulous party – clients, supporters and donors, partners, amazing music and art, a moving tribute to CCR visionary Michael Ratner, and most importantly, a look to the future.

White supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalism aren’t going away any time soon, nor are the abusive dimensions of state power. CCR, in other words, will be needed in the next 50 years as much as it was in the last 50! And so last night we launched the Michael Ratner Next Generation Initiative, rooted in the values that have always guided us and aimed at building a future as strong as our past.

CCR friend and executive director of the Arab American Association of New York Linda Sarsour welcomed everyone at the beginning of the evening.

Dolly Filartiga is a human rights hero. She is CCR’s client from the landmark 1979 Filártiga v. Peña-Irala that put the Alien Tort Statute on the map as an important tool for pursuing accountability for torture and other human rights abuses.

CCR Chair and legal scholar Katherine Franke gave us a glimpse into CCR’s storied past.

Legal director Baher Azmy gave a heartfelt overview of Michael Ratner's career and remarkable contributions to many different fields of law. Baher said, "I can say he was the most visionary, principled, strategic, fearless, passionate — and deeply humane and humble — advocate I have ever come across and likely ever will."

CCR visionary Michael Ratner was present in the room an virtually everyone referenced his influence on their lives and CCR’s work. The evening  included a multimedia, interactive tribute composed by the Dream Unfinished orchestra.

And of course, the Ratner family was there in force – as ever, sharing Michael with the CCR family.

Beloved CCR family members Nancy StearnsPeter Weiss, and Jules Lobel also joined us.

The evening was chock full of other amazing musical performances as well, starting with Barbara King and the Spirit of Jazz, who performed during the cocktail hour. The main event was Esperanza Spalding, whose exquisite compositions brought down the house. The evening ended with a performance by Brian Jackson, and then segued into an after party deejayed by DJ Center.

CCR Executive Director Vince Warren gave a rousing speech. “This is an exciting time for CCR. We are poised to take the next major steps toward transforming the supporters and effects of unjust power. Your partnership,” he told the crowd, “makes it possible to keep fighting when others have given up. CCR never gives up.”

All photos taken by Chase Wilkinson.


Last modified 

October 7, 2016