The ballroom of The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta gleamed on the evening of October 17, 2009, and the smiles of Men Stopping Violence’s (MSV) friends and allies were no less bright as they arrived to honor three people who have proven their commitment to working for safety and justice for women.
“I look at this as a call to action,” said Hill Harper, recipient of the True Ally Award. “I think it’s time for us to start having uncomfortable conversations as men.” Harper, an author and actor who is one of the stars of the CBS show “CSI:NY,” followed attorney Judith O’Brien, recipient of the Kathleen Carlin Justice Seekers Award, and scholar Dr. Rudolph P. Byrd, recipient of the inaugural Dick Bathrick Award, to the stage.
Approximately 300 people attended the Annual Awards Dinner. Other presenters and special guests included Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, emcee Richelle Carey, and presenters India Arie, Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, and Steve Gottlieb.
Highlights of the evening included:
- Award recipient Judith O’Brien reminiscing about MSV co-founder Kathleen Carlin and her commitment to justice for women.
- Members of MSV’s Community Restoration Program taking the stage, with member Shyam Sriram speaking about the difference that MSV has made in his life and work.
- The live auction of a “CSI:NY” package: a trip that featured a visit to the Los Angeles set of the hit CBS show, round-trip airfare, accommodations, and memorabilia. Hill Harper leapt to the stage twice to egg on the bidders, throwing in lunch with him on the set and a second package. Two fortunate bidders secured these coveted items.