Three members of the University community will be honored with Diversity Leadership Awards during the annual MLK commemoration on Tuesday.
The recipients are Randolph Stone, Sunny Fischer (A.M. ‘82), and Scott Cook, who will be honored for demonstrating unparalleled advocacy for underrepresented communities.
Stone, a clinical professor of law at UChicago, founded the Criminal Juvenile Justice Project (CJJP) as a collaborative platform with law and social work students. The project focuses on defending children and young adults and ensuring fair treatment under juvenile and criminal law policy.
Stone also serves on the board of Youth Advocate Programs Inc. and the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. The CJJP was primarily created on a local scale to counteract the spread of harmful, criminalizing stereotypes towards black children, and to help instigate broader change regarding the manifestation of these stereotypes in courtroom practices.
Fischer (A.M. ’82) is dedicated to funding businesses with female leadership and gender diversity as executive director of the Sophia Fund—the first private women’s foundation exclusively concerned with women’s issues. In addition, Fischer co-founded the Chicago Foundation for Women, and played equally influential roles in the Women’s Funding Network and Chicago Women in Philanthropy.
Her mission also concerns the stereotypes surrounding public housing and low-income neighborhoods, which she challenged by founding Chicago’s own National Public Housing Museum. The museum uses exhibitions of public housing residents’ art and culture to invoke a deeper understanding of race, poverty, and the necessity of social justice.
Scott Cook, an employee of the University of Chicago Medical Center and Biological Sciences Division, found his philanthropic passion in universalizing culturally conscious health care and minimizing health care inequality.
Cook serves as deputy director of Finding Answers, a national program that promotes healthcare equity by targeting payment and delivery system issues in need of reform. Cook expressed gratitude for his reception of the Diversity Leadership Award.
“I am humbled by receiving the award,” he told *The Maroon*. “There are so many people who are doing tremendous work and making sacrifices to advance diversity, inclusion, and equity.”
Regina Dixon-Reeves, assistant vice provost for diversity and inclusion, hailed the three advocates for demonstrating “inclusive excellence valued by the University of Chicago.”
The commemoration will take place on Tuesday in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at 6 p.m.