Call for Nominations — 2018 M. Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award

Share SALT News

Pictured, 2017 Award Winner Zahra Billoo

SALT holds an annual awards event to celebrate the SALT’s community, values, and honorees to coincide with the January AALS meeting. Mark your calendars: This year’s SALT awards celebration will be on Friday, January 5, 2018, at a location TBA in San Diego.  A highlight of this celebration is the presentation of SALTʹs M. Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award. SALT invites you to submit a nomination for this award. Award criteria and past awardees are set out below.  Current members of the SALT Board of Governors are not eligible for nomination.

You must be a current member of SALT to make a nomination. You can click here to join or renew.  To check the status of your membership, email

To nominate, please submit the following to by Friday, September 1, 2017:

  • the name of the award for which you are making a nomination
  • the name of the person or organization you are nominating
  • a 1-2 page (max of 2 pages) statement supporting the nomination. The statement should explain why the person or organization deserves the award, including how they have contributed to the mission of SALT.

We encourage you to re-nominate candidates who have been nominated in past years, as we always have many more worthy nominees than we can honor each year.

M. Shanara Gilbert Award Criteria: SALT recognizes the contributions of activists whose passion for social justice has driven their lives. The M. Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award is named after a CUNY Law School professor who dedicated her life to equality, equity, and justice. She was killed at the age of 45, along with Haywood Burns, in a car accident while visiting South Africa. In her memory, SALT honors those who believe in fighting for a better world. The Award is not bestowed annually, but when there is an exceptional person or institution whose struggle for human rights requires recognition from our community.  The successful nominee must also be available to receive the award in person at SALT’s celebration.

Past M. Shanara Gilbert Honorees, starting with the most recent: Zahra Billoo (2017), Sherrilyn Ifill (2016); Hope Lewis (2015); Florence Roisman (2014); Norris Henderson (2013); Prison Law Office (2011); Rhonda Copelon (2009); Jennifer Harbury and Sister Dianna Ortiz (2008); Joshua Rosenkranz (2007); David Cole and Center for Constitutional Rights (2006); Eva Patterson (2005); Congressman John Lewis (2004); Steven Bright and Bryan Stevenson (2003); Honorable Barney Frank (2000); Dr. Jesse N. Stone, Jr. (1999); and M. Shanara Gilbert (1997).