November 20, 2009
Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow was honored at the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC) on November 13, along with Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund, and the late Senator Edward Kennedy.
“We are honoring Martha for her lifelong commitment to inclusion,” said Hubie Jones, MAC founder. “What brings her close to MAC’s heart is that she has followed the path of her inquiry to become a transformative thinker and doer. She has come to the understanding that, ‘forging ways out of the difference dilemma requires remaking institutions so they do not establish one norm that places the burden of difference on those who diverge from it.’”
Minow was recognized for her partnership with MAC on the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative, a clinical program at HLS which represents families in cases concerning the educational needs of children who have been exposed to family violence.
An expert in law and education, Minow’s work on behalf of children has included a five-year partnership with the Department of Education and the Center for Applied Special Technology to increase access to curriculum for students with disabilities. That project resulted in both legislative initiatives and a voluntary national standard, which opened access to curricular materials for individuals with disabilities.
Minow currently serves on the boards of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and Facing History and Ourselves. She was chair of the Scholars Board for Facing History and Ourselves, which worked to develop curricular materials to help students reflect on social inclusion and exclusion in contexts ranging from the school yard to genocide. She developed a core course for Harvard College called Children and Their Social Worlds, and she has previously served on the board of the Judge Baker Children’s Center, Somerville’s Family Center, and the W.T. Grant Foundation, sponsoring research on children and adolescents.
Massachusetts Advocates for Children is a private non-profit organization dedicated to being an independent and effective voice for children who face significant barriers to equal educational and life opportunities. MAC works to overcome these barriers by changing conditions for many children, while also helping one child at a time.