Twenty years ago, Congress laid siege to the American ideal of equal justice under law by severely restricting the activities and funding of Legal Services programs across the country. Our honorees responded to this assault on justice quickly and decisively. They came from across the state and different political persuasions, but those differences counted for little because of their shared commitment to the American values of fairness, equality and the rule of law.
From their collective generosity, the Tennessee Justice Center was born. Bar leaders volunteered to incorporate the Center and serve on its board. At a time when their very survival was threatened, Legal Aid organizations took the extraordinary step of giving up part of their own funding to help the Center, beginning what has become a vibrant twenty-year collaboration in meeting the legal needs of vulnerable Tennesseans. The Tennessee Bar Foundation provided critical seed funding. The rest is history.
On November 12, 2015, TJC celebrated our 20 year anniversary by honoring the 9 visionary leaders who made it all happen: Margaret Behm, Mike Cody, Harlan Dodson, Harris Gilbert, Riney Green, David Herbert, Lowry Kline, Howard Vogel and Ashley Wiltshire.