Marriage equality, court secrecy, racial justice and criminal justice reform are the focus of works being recognized by the American Bar Association’s 2021 Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts. The awards acknowledge outstanding work that fosters the American public’s understanding of law and the legal system and are the ABA’s highest honor in recognition of this purpose.
The Silver Gavel winners are:
- “Marriage Equality: From Outlaws to In-Laws,” in which authors William Eskridge and Christopher Riano and editor William Frucht present a history of America’s marriage equality debate while highlighting personal stories and the constitutional debate.
- “Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America,” a documentary about how the invention of the automobile brought “mobility and freedom” for African Americans, but also exposed them to discrimination and violence that still is prevalent today.
- “Fear, Illness and Death in ICE Detention,” an investigative magazine article by Seth Freed Wessler, reporting fellow at Type Investigations, about how a protest grew on the inside of a Georgia detention facility to “raise the alarm” about conditions during the pandemic.
- “American Injustice,” a multimedia collaboration by Reuters reporters that examines the “institutional failings” through four projects about police unions, local jails, judges and qualified immunity.
- “Targeted,” a newspaper investigative series by the Tampa Bay Times about how a transformed sheriff’s office became a “cutting-edge data-driven machine” that evolved into an “operation that monitors, intimidates and harasses families.”
- “Buried Truths Season 3: Ahmaud Arbery,” a thought-provoking podcast series by WABE, which investigates the 2020 killing of Ahmaud Arbery and examines details about the case that are “both disheartening and inspiring.”
“The American Bar Association engages in a deliberative and thorough judging process to select winners of the Silver Gavel Awards,” said Sharon Stern Gerstman, chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Gavel Awards. “We congratulate all of our 2021 awardees for their exceptional efforts to advance the American public’s understanding of law.”
ABA President Patricia Lee Refo will present the Silver Gavels and honorable mentions during a virtual event on July 13 at 6 p.m. EDT. David McCraw, vice president and deputy general counsel at The New York Times Co., will be the featured speaker.