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Henry Louis Gates Jr. to be honored at City University of New York School of Law’s annual PILA Gala and Auction

March 7, 2012

CONTACT: Jean Stevens, PILA Gala co-organizer, 508-769-2138,

WHEN: 6 p.m. Friday, March 23, 2012
WHERE: Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, New York, NY
Interviews and photos available

NEW YORK — Lauded legal scholar, best-selling author and Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. will be honored at the nation’s leading public interest law school’s annual Public Interest Law Association (PILA) Gala and Auction benefit March 23 at the historic Judson Memorial Church.

Students of the City University of New York School of Law will honor and recognize Gates for his incredible scholarship, achievements and unwavering commitment to civil rights and social justice. Gates, director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard, has written extensively for The New Yorker and The New York Times. He is author of numerous books, most recently “Black in Latin America” and “Faces of America,” which expand on his critically acclaimed PBS documentaries. He is also editor-in-chief of, a daily online magazine focusing on issues of interest to the African American community, written from an African American perspective.

“We are thrilled to honor the amazing work of Dr. Gates,” said Kathleen Thomas, a second-year CUNY Law student and co-organizer of this year’s PILA Gala. “He is a true role model to all of us, completely representative of CUNY Law School’s mission to pursue law in the service of human needs, and to work for justice.”

All proceeds from the 19th annual Gala and Auction, organized by PILA student members, will go toward student fellowships to fund unpaid public interest legal internships this summer. Through these experiences, students gain critical lawyering skills and help further the social justice missions of the organizations for which they are working.

Founded in 1983, CUNY School of Law is the nation’s premiere public interest law school. It trains lawyers to serve the underprivileged and disempowered and to make a difference in their communities. According to the National Association for Law Placement Directory, CUNY Law sends a higher share of its students into public interest and public service law practice than any other law school in the nation. CUNY School of Law also enrolls an unusually diverse student body. Among its 2011 entering class, 44.44 percent are students of color.

For more information, please contact Jean Stevens, CUNY Law PILA Gala co-coordinator, at 508-769-2138 or For more information, tickets, and to make donations to the PILA fund, visit

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