The award recognizes the accomplishments of a person, entity or organization that has made significant accomplishments or demonstrated recognized leadership in the areas of environmental justice and/or a commitment to gender, racial and ethnic diversity in the environment, energy and natural resources legal area.
U.S. Department of Justice lawyer Quentin Pair, lawyer Nicholas Targ of Holland & Knight LLP and lawyer Ben Wilson of Beveridge & Diamond PC are responsible for establishing a program at the Howard University School of Law dedicated to exploring and exposing incidents of environmental justice.
The Howard Energy and Environmental Law Society derives from the idea that environmental justice is a civil rights issue of the 21st century. Formed in 2003, HEELS was developed to create an environmental law curriculum that promoted environmental justice and future leaders.
Conceived by Targ, with the assistance of a small ABA grant, HEELS believes it is important for Howard University School of Law, as a bastion of civil rights law, to promote solutions to the problem of environmental discrimination.
This trio of lawyers has taught for more than a decade as Howard adjunct professors and has worked with more than 300 students, many of whom have gone on to pursue careers in environmental law. They have also persuaded their friends and colleagues in both the public and private sectors to serve as adjunct professors at Howard.
The ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources is the premier forum for strategies and information for environmental, energy and resource lawyers. Representing nearly 11,000 members with a wide range of professional interests, the section keeps its members abreast of development trends, current court decisions, legislative initiatives and statutes concerning environmental, natural resources and energy law.