Elliott-Black Award Presented to Robert Gangi
The American Ethical Union gives the Elliott-Black Award as a recognition and tribute to an individual or organization in the larger community who has made a significant ethical contribution to society at personal risk and hardship. The Elliott-Black Award was established in 1971 to honor two long-term and highly esteemed Leaders of the New York Society for Ethical Culture, the late John Lovejoy Elliott and Algernon D. Black. This year it was presented to Robert Gangi for his unique skill in improving the well-being of prisoners and awakening the ethical conscience of the larger community.
Robert Gangi, Senior Policy Advocate at The Urban Justice Center, is founder of the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP)
and a member of the United Social Services of the New York Society for Ethical Culture. He has been an activist, community organizer, and public policy advocate in New York City for over 40 years and served as Executive Director of the Correctional Association for over 29 years. He is a recognized expert on criminal justice and law enforcement issues with a particular focus on police and prison concerns.
In 2009, Robert's efforts were rewarded with dramatic reform of the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws. He has also achieved success in bringing marked improvement to the New York City court pens where the people held prior to arraignment tend to be the poorest of the poor. He has a unique skill in building formidable, diverse, loyal, and ever-growing coalitions. PROP and its allies initiated a concerted organizing/advocacy campaign to expose and correct abusive policing practices. They are targeting the 2013 New York City elections to ensure that policing issues are central to the public debate and that reform-minded candidates assume public office.
Robert Gangi's work has impacted states across the country, and his writings have had a local and national audience. His deep concern for the high ideals of justice and his belief in the dignity of every human being has brought public attention to and the reduction of the expense and wastefulness of prison and jail expansion. Robert helped popularize difficult and controversial issues, such as AIDS in prison, alternatives to incarceration, detention for juveniles, confinement conditions for women, and improved and expanded programs and services for medically and mentally ill prisoners.
We congratulate Robert Gangi on his many accomplishments and support him in his future successes.