Author E. Hughes Award for Career Achievement Honors MAPJ Alumnus, Judge Willie

Friday, April 28, 2017TOPICS: Awards and HonorsAlumni

Judge Roosevelt E. Willie at the Lerach Luncheon

Judge Roosevelt E. Willie, who earned his Master's in Peace and Justice at the Kroc School in 2011 and returned to Liberia to battle judicial corruption, came back to campus April 22 to receive USD's Author E. Hughes Award for Career Achievement as the Kroc School honoree. A video about Judge Willie chronicled his impact on Liberia as a judicial leader and role model who stayed to help his home country during 14 years of civil war and through the Ebola crisis while many others fled. He credits Kroc School professor Dustin Sharp for giving him a clear understanding of the contribution that an impartial judiciary can make to sustainable peace by offering everyone, regardless of wealth, status or other distinction, the opportunity for justice

Prior to the ceremony, Judge Willie and his wife Izeta were guests of honor at a luncheon hosted by Bill and Michelle Lerach at their La Jolla home. The luncheon offered San Diego lawyers and judges a chance to meet Judge Willie and current Kroc School students with law backgrounds. Michelle had previously met Judge Willie in Liberia where she was learning about micro-credit loans for market women through the Foundation for Women (which also provided footage for Judge Willie's video).

The Lerachs, both trained as lawyers, established the Lerach Peace and Justice Scholarship in 2012 to support students from Africa, particularly female students. At the luncheon, Judge Willie and current students from Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico and the U.S. spoke of the importance of scholarships in helping prepare peacebuilders and changemakers to shape a better world. You can make a scholarship gift here for students who will serve as leaders in peace and justice for their communities and for the world.

To learn more about Judge Willie and his work, watch the video below:

Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies


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