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Shelby County Mayor's Office honors criminal justice leaders with Southern Justice Summit awards ceremony

Civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump gave the keynote speech at the Shelby County Mayor's second annual event.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Southern Justice Summit Awards Ceremony was held virtually Friday, hosted by Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris’ office.

Civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump gave the keynote speech at the Shelby County Mayor's second annual event. They said the goal was to bring together criminal justice leaders from around the south who are innovators.

Each of those honored helped create new ways to approach public safety concerns.

"When we fight for whom my Grandmother often referred to the Biblical reference, the least of these, what we are really doing is helping America live up to its creed. What we are really doing is helping America be the great beacon of hope and justice for all the world to marvel,” said Crump. “But what we are really doing Mayor Harris, what we are really doing Memphis, Tennessee, what we are really doing brothers and sisters is helping America be America for all Americans. We can have a better America, a more just America. All we have to do is join hands together and fight for it."

The award receipts included Defender of the Year attorney Vanessa Potkin, Champion of the Year Senator Raumesh Akbari, Difference Maker of the Year clerk Heidi Kuhn, and Advocate of the Year attorney Michael Scholl.

2nd Annual Southern Justice Summit - Awards Ceremony

On Friday, November 19, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris’ office will host the “Southern Justice Summit Awards Ceremony” to honor criminal justice reform leaders. Last year, Mayor Harris’ office hosted it’s first “Southern Justice Summit” to bring together criminal justice leaders from around the South and highlight innovative approaches to public safety. This year’s summit will honor leaders for their transformational work in the criminal justice field across the South. The free, virtual event will be held on November 19, 2021, from 12:00 pm until 1:00 pm CST. The event will feature a keynote address from nationally recognized trial lawyer Ben Crump and a performance by hip-hop artist YelloPain. Southern Justice Summit Awards Ceremony honorees include Innocence Project Director of Special Litigation Vanessa Potkin, Tennessee State Senator Raumesh Akbari, Attorney Michael Scholl, and Shelby County Criminal Court Clerk Heidi Kuhn.

Posted by Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris on Friday, November 19, 2021