Since 1930, the WBA has hosted an Annual Law Day Dinner, which has become a premier event among influential members of the DC legal, policy, and business communities. The highlight of the gala is the conferral of the WBA’s highest award, the Charles Hamilton Houston Medallion of Merit. The namesake of the Medallion of Merit, Charles Hamilton Houston, was a WBA founder and civil rights legend whose legal brilliance helped dismantle Jim Crow segregation in the United States. Houston was the architect of the legal strategy that ultimately dismantled the “separate but equal” doctrine through the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision.
For the past 25 years, the WBA has bestowed the Charles Hamilton Houston Medallion of Merit on deserving individuals who have embodied Houstonian principles through leadership and service. Previous honorees have included the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Justice Thurgood Marshall, Dr. Dorothy I. Height, Congressman John R. Lewis, Charles J. Ogletree, Jr:, Marian Wright Edelman, the Honorable Eric H. Holder, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the Honorable Loretta E. Lynch, Diane Nash, and many other others committed to the pursuit of a just society. A full list of previous honorees is available here.