The Access to Justice Awards are presented annually by Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE), Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO), and the Toledo Bar Association Pro Bono Legal Services Program. Tickets to the dinner are $65 per person and are available by calling ABLE at 419-255-0814.
Shipler is considered an expert on poverty in the United States, following the publishing of his most recent book, “The Working Poor: Invisible in America.” In it, he explores the gap between reality and the U.S.-American Dream of success by unraveling the interconnecting problems that afflict the working poor.
Shipler is also the author of “A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America,” “Russia: Broken Idols, Solemn Dreams” and “Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1987.
He worked for the New York Times for 20 years, reporting from New York, Saigon, Moscow, and Jerusalem before serving as chief diplomatic correspondent in Washington, D.C. Shipler has also written for The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.
The annual awards recognize outstanding service in the public interest by attorneys, organizations, and community advocates in northwest Ohio. Candidates are nominated by local organizations or individuals, and the winners are chosen by a selection committee of area leaders in the legal community.
The Public Interest Law Award, which recognizes a lawyer or law firm for representation of minority, low-income or otherwise disadvantaged persons, will be presented to attorney Cindy Voller.
Voller has dedicated herself to making a difference through pro bono work. Since 1993, she has distinguished herself through diligent and devoted representation of disadvantaged clients as part of the Toledo Bar Association’s Pro Bono Legal Services program.
She is currently a member of the Pro Bono Advisory Board, having served as chair twice. In addition to her pro bono work, Cindy is active in the TBA's Juvenile Court Committee, is media spokesperson for Gays/Lesbians United and is a board member for the John Domrose Foundation for Personal Rights. She has also served as a member of the Citizens Review Board since 1995.
The Community Advocacy Award, honoring a lay person for community service and advocacy on behalf of disadvantaged persons, will be presented to Shelley Papenfuse.
Papenfuse has made a career of advocacy for individuals with disabilities and other disadvantaged persons in the community. Her work with disability rights and education has touched the lives of thousands of people. She helped establish the first Disability Studies Program offered at the college level in the United States, capturing the attention of disability scholars and leaders nationally.
In her role as a Disability Advocate for the Ability Center of Greater Toledo, Papenfuse has made extensive outreach efforts to individuals, groups and the government regarding accessibility and visibility for persons with disabilities. Her leadership efforts have included board positions with TARTA, the City of Toledo Housing Fund, and the Ohio Governor's Olmstead Taskforce.
She was honored in 2004 with a YWCA Milestone: A Tribute to Women award and received the Distinguished Community Leadership Award from the City of Toledo in 1996.
Special recognition will be awarded to William J. Bingle, who received a Distinguished Service Award for the leadership and vision he provided as a two-term President of the ABLE and LAWO boards of trustees.
During his tenure, the firms began a consolidation of legal services that resulted in a 32-county service area. Bingle oversaw the establishment and installation of Legal Aid Line of Western Ohio, a centralized intake service that helped to increase the number of low-income persons served by legal aid.
For additional information regarding the Access to Justice Awards Dinner, contact Patricia J. Robb, 419-930-2517 or [email protected]