ADL awards header 2013

Today, I’m pleased to report about a great lawyer (and fellow) who is about to be honored. It only adds to the news that this occurs during Pro Bono Week, for which this attorney could be equally recognized.

The lawyer is David Bodney, the talented partner at Steptoe’s Phoenix office. And the organization honoring him is the Anti-Defamation League, which has recognized David as a leader for many years.

David Bodney

David Bodney

This Thursday evening (Oct. 24), the Arizona Region of the Anti-Defamation League will bestow on Bodney its Torch of Liberty Award. He has much leadership experience with the ADL, including service on the National Legal Affairs and Civil Rights Committees and National Commission. In addition, the ADL announced that Bodney “recently co-authored ADL’s amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court challenge to Arizona’s SB 1070.”

As the ADL describes the award:

“The Anti-Defamation League’s Torch of Liberty Award was established over 40 years ago to recognize individuals who have exhibited extraordinary humanitarian concerns and whose everyday actions exemplify the principles on which the ADL was founded—diversity, civil harmony, social justice and respect for human dignity.”

ADL logoMore detail about David and the award are here.

And tickets are available for sale here.

I had anticipated going, but a family conflict prevents that. So I’m hoping one of you gadabouts will send me a note (arizona.attorney@azbar.org) to report how the evening went. Photos? Always welcome.

Some startling statistics were released this week that detailed the high levels of violence and bullying that Arizona students are experiencing.

“Startling” may be the wrong word to use in this state, which may simply be reaping our low dividends for our low investments in Arizona’s youth. But there is no denying that the data from the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission is dramatic and troubling.

The 2010 Arizona Youth Survey assessed health risk behavior and the prevalence of substance abuse. As the Commission says, “The survey also includes questions concerns other risky behavior such as bullying, violence and gambling.”

Some of the more sobering numbers have to do with teen dating violence and bullying:

  • Nearly one in five youth (17.3 percent) reported being physically assaulted by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the 12 months prior to completing the survey.
  • More than one of every four youth (29.1 percent) report being bullied at school in that time period.
  • Nearly 15 percent of youth reported attacking someone with the intent to seriously hurt them in that time.
  • More than one out of every 10 youth reported having seen someone shot or shot at in the past 12 months.

More of the survey results are here.

Phillip Stevenson, director of the ACJC’s Statistical Analysis Center, said, “We must do more to address bullying behavior in our schools and create an environment where youth feel safe to learn.”

An event tonight provides Arizonans the opportunity to do exactly what Stevenson suggested.

Recent national stories have shown some of the tragic results that may ensue from bullying. After bullying and harassment, young LGBT individuals have committed suicide in New York, California, Texas, New Jersey, Minnesota, Indiana and Rhode Island.

Tonight a coalition of organizations is screening a film titled Bullied: A Student, a School and a Case that Made History. Equality Arizona, with the Church of the Beatitudes, the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) will screen the 40-minute documentary, a story of a young gay man who took a stand against the bullying he experienced in school. The film is a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center (who came to Arizona in 2009, which we covered in Arizona Attorney Magazine here). A discussion panel will follow.

Location:

Church of the Beatitudes, Nelson Hall
555 W. Glendale Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85021

Cost: Free

Date/Time: Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m.

RSVP recommended:

Church of the Beatitudes

More information:

Julie Roberts

julier@equalityarizona.org

(602) 509-4808

Or

Barbara Wood
bwood@beatitudeschurch.org
(602) 264-1221