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Donna McCracken

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This Year



Larry Golden receives 2004 Courageous Voices Award

June 2, 2004

SPRINGFIELD - Larry Golden, professor emeritus of Political Studies and Legal Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield, was one of five recipients of the Courageous Voices Awards 2004 presented by the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs. The awards will be presented June 3 in Chicago.

Courageous Voices Awards recognize individuals who are at the forefront of pressing issues affecting the community. JCUA believes that the recipients represent the Jewish ideal of Tzedek (Justice) and through their actions are working to promote social and economic justice for everyone.

Golden came to Springfield in 1970 as a charter member of the Sangamon State University faculty. In the mid-’70s he helped develop the lawsuit that resulted in the desegregation of District #186 schools, and some 10 years later he was involved in bringing a nationally recognized Voting Rights lawsuit against the city. This latter suit resulted in a court-ordered change in the form of Springfield city government and the election of the first African-American members of the city council.

In 1990, in response to Ku Klux Klan mobilization in the city and the defacement of a local synagogue, Golden joined with other concerned citizens to form the Coalition to Promote Human Dignity and Diversity, an entity that works with law enforcement agencies and offers support to victims of hate crimes. In 1996 he helped found The Springfield Project, an organization dedicated to revitalizing neighborhoods and empowering residents. More recently, he helped found and lead two campus efforts -- the Community Outreach Partnership Center, designed to bring campus resources into partnership with TSP, and the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project, which helps provide investigative assistance to individuals who have been convicted of serious crimes and imprisoned despite the existence of strong evidence that they are not guilty.

Golden currently chairs the TSP board of directors and is also a board member of local chapters of the ACLU and NAACP. Throughout his teaching career his courses have focused on racial and social inequality, civil liberties, and political and social philosophy. Golden retires from the UIS faculty this summer; however, he will continue his work with the Springfield Project and the Innocence Project.

Other recipients of the 2004 Courageous Voices Award are Miguel Ambriz, leader of the Albany Park Day Labor Committee; Luis Gonzalez, elected member of the Albany Park Day Labor Committee; Jose Landaverde, co-founder and member of the Latino Union; and Betty Willhoite, past-president of the Chicago League of Women Voters and the Community Renewal Society and currently on the steering committee of the Coalition to Protect Public Housing.

The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs was created in Chicago in 1964 to work with city leadership to combat poverty, racism, and anti-Semitism in partnership with the city’s diverse communities. One of the leading Jewish social justice organizations in the country, JCUA supports issues including affordable housing, job creation, community reinvestment, civil liberties, criminal justice, and immigration rights.

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 40 degree programs – 20 bachelor’s, 19 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.