UMD, Maryland Leaders Celebrate Judge AW Center and its Founder
On Wednesday, April 12, the Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. Center for Education, Justice and Ethics held a reception in the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center to outline its impact on the university and Maryland communities, and to celebrate Judge Williams’ 30 years of public service.
Established in 2015 and based in Prince George’s County, Maryland, the Judge AW Center researches, develops solutions for and provides a forum for discussing the prevailing issues facing underserved, minority communities today. The center was founded by the Honorable Judge Alexander Williams, Jr., who served for nearly 20 years as a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in Greenbelt.
At the reception, more than 150 prominent members of the local legal and business community came together to pay tribute to Judge Williams, and to learn more about the center.
Elizabeth M. Hewlett, Esq., served as the master of ceremonies for the evening.
Attendees and speakers included President Wallace Loh, Governor Larry Hogan; Congressman Steny Hoyer, who represents Maryland’s 5th Congressional District; and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker.
Governor Hogan presented Judge Williams with a citation from the governor’s office in recognition of service to Prince George’s County and the state of Maryland.
“When I first heard about this center, I thought it was a great idea, and couldn’t wait to support it,” Hogan said.
“It’s an honor to now have Alex Williams as a component part to this great, great university,” said Hoyer, who is an alumnus.
“Alex Williams inspires us to be a better county, a better state and a better nation,” Baker said.
The Judge AW Center researches, develops solutions for and provides a forum for discussing the prevailing issues facing underserved, minority communities. It especially focuses on: educational preparedness and bridging the achievement gap; justice and fairness in social, civic, economic, and jurisprudential and media matters; and ethical guideposts for building integrity and community values.
In October, the Center joined with the University of Baltimore School of Law and the Maryland State Bar Association to present a symposium on judicial elections in Maryland. Attendees heard perspectives from legal scholars and prominent members of the bench, bar and legislature on the controversial topic of contested judicial elections. In December, the Judge AW Center, in conjunction with a work group, produced the Collateral Consequences report for the Governor. This report contains recommendations on how to successfully integrate those convicted of a crime back into society. In January, Judge Williams delivered a keynote address at the City of College Park’s annual tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.