Claudia Morcom

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Claudia Morcom


Claudia House Morcom is a Michigan lawyer and activist. She was born in 1932.

Background/activism

Claudia Morcom has been actively engaged in civil rights and human rights work throughout her life, beginning with attending rallies for the Scottsboro frameup victims in her childhood. She worked with SNCC and the National Lawyers Guild in the early 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi.[1]

Claudia Morcom was the first African American woman to work in an integrated law firm when she joined the firm of Goodman, Crockett, Eden, Robb, and Philo in the early 1960s. She was the Southern Regional Director of the National Lawyers Guild Committee for Legal Assistance from 1964-1965. In 1966, she became the Director of the Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services Program for the indigent. She became a Wayne County Circuit Court Judge in 1983. She served as a delegate to the United Nations Council on Human Rights.

Judge Claudia House Morcom worked to establish "gender and racial equality in all facets of society through her notable accomplishments in the field of law".

Morcom, a Detroit native, received a J.D. from the Wayne State University Law School in 1956. She began her professional career as a public housing aide for the City of Detroit Housing Commission. Morcom then proceeded to become the first woman associate in the nation's first integrated law firm. In 1964 Morcom moved to Jackson, Mississippi, to become the Southern Regional Director for the National Lawyer's Guild Program. At a time when volatile race relations plagued the South, Morcom and others facilitated a massive voter registration movement and worked to desegregate public facilities throughout Mississippi.

While serving as founding director of the Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services from 1966 to 1968, she implemented a program providing legal representation for the indigent. In 1972 she began an 11-year career as the Administrative Law Judge for the Michigan Department of Labor, Bureau of Workers' Disability Compensation. In 1983 she was the first African-American woman appointed to the Wayne County Circuit Court.

In addition to her professional activities, Judge Morcom participated in numerous community boards and organizations, including the Metropolitan Detroit YMCA and YWCA, the Merrill Palmer Institute for Child and Family Counseling, and Kids in Need of Direction. She has also served as co-chair of the Michigan Alliance Against Racists and Political Repression, president of the Michigan Housing Association, member of the Metropolitan Coalition of Women, president of the United States Delegation of the American Association of Jurists and its observer at the United Nations non-governmental organizations.[2]

International activism

Judge Morcom participated in the 2001 United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, returning home just before the September 11 attacks. She was the lead delegate for the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute, of Berkeley, California, and also a delegate for the International Association of Democratic Lawyers.

In August 2002, she visited Israel and the Occupied Territories with a delegation from the International Association of Democratic Lawyers .[3]

Awards

Morcom has been an outspoken advocate for the rights of women and minorities. Her commitment and dedication have ignited hope for many young women who have followed her professional example. Morcom's inspirational achievements have not gone unnoticed; she has received many accolades including the Wayne State University Center for Peace and Conflict Studies Peace Award, the Wayne State University Outstanding Alumni Award, the Damon Keith Humanitarian Award, the Center for Constitutional Rights Award, the Michigan State Bar's Champions of Justice Award, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Outstanding Community Leadership Award, and the American Civil Liberties Award. [4]

Memorial to Coleman Young

On December 20 1997 the Communist Party USA's Peoples Weekly World published on page 18, a memorial to late Detroit mayor Coleman Young.

Signatories to the memorial included Claudia Morcom.

CCDS 2002 convention

Morcom attended the July 2002 Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism national convention.[5]

CCDS Convention

Claudia Morcom addressed the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism 5th National Convention, July 21-23, 2006, on legal issues.[6]

Michigan Coalition for Human Rights

In 2007/08 2007-08 Hon. Claudia Morcom, Retired Judge , served on the Advisory Board of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights.[7]

DSA honor

Detroit Democratic Socialists of America celebrated the 10th Annual Douglass-Debs Dinner[8] November 8th 2008 Co-chairs were UAW Region 1A Director Rory Gamble and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 547 Business Manager Phillip Schloop. The Douglass-Debs Award winners were David Bonior and Judy Bonior and Judge Claudia Morcom. The keynote speaker was In These Times senior editor David Moberg.

CCDS convention and Vietnam reparations campaign

At the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism 6th National Convention July 2009[9]in San Francisco, Charlene Mitchell was honored for her work.

The event was chaired by CCDS Chicago leader Mildred Williamson and was sponsored by the Kendra Alexander Foundation, represented by Eric Quezada. Angela Davis, Hon. Claudia Morcom, Giuliana Milanese, and Carl Bloice recalled in loving and glowing terms how Charlene had mentored them and encouraged them through various battles, personal and political.

Saturday was the evening of solidarity with Vietnam. It featured highlights of the recent CCDS sponsored tour of Vietnam and the ongoing crisis of Agent Orange.

Co-chaired by Vietnam veteran Paul Cox and Judge Claudia Morcom, the evening had a practical purpose: to launch a campaign for the U.S. to make reparations to Vietnam for the ongoing impact of the mass poisoning of the population with Agent Orange. Morcom was one of seven international judges on the International People's Tribunal of Conscience in Support of the Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange." The veterans and their families and friends who spoke from the floor were choked with emotion as they offered accounts not only of what they had seen that happened to the Vietnamese, but also to the veterans who were poisoned, and birth defects on their children as well. CCDS joined the campaign by acclamation.

Committee to Defend Diane Bukowski and Freedom of the Press

In 2009 Claudia Morcom was listed as a supporter of the Committee to Defend Diane Bukowski and Freedom of the Press[10]

Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center

In 2007, Claudia Morcom was a member of the Honorary Host Committee for the Essential: Advocacy for Workplace Justice Reception & Silent Auction. The reception, which was held on Nov. 14, 2007 is the annual fundraising event to benefit the far left National Lawyers Guild-affiliated Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice. The guest of honor at the reception was Andy Levin, son of Congressman Sander Levin, and Deputy Director at the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth.[11]

In 2009, Claudia Morcom was a member of the Host Committee for the Essential: Advocacy for Community Justice Reception & Silent Auction which was held at the Atlas Global Bistro, Detroit. The reception, which was held on Nov. 18, 2009 is the annual fundraising event to benefit the far left National Lawyers Guild-affiliated Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice. Remarks were made by Steve Tobocman and the Maurice Sugar Voice for Justice Award was presented to Marilyn Mullane, Executive Director, Michigan Legal Services.[12]

Van Jones award host committee

Screenshot of Essential: Advocacy for Community Justice reception (click image to enlarge)

On November 18, 2010, the far left Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice presented "The Maurice Sugar Voice for Justice Award" to Van Jones "Human Rights Activists and Green-Jobs Advocate", at the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, 660 Woodward Ave, Suite 300.

Members of the Honorary Host Committee were;[13]

Detroit Angela Davis gathering

A standing room only crowd of nearly 2,000 people welcomed Angela Davis, October 24, 2012, to Detroit to celebrate the 40th anniversary of her acquittal on charges of murder, kidnapping and conspiracy. The event, held at Fellowship Chapel on the city's northwest side, was a "powerful demonstration of the respect and affection Detroiters have for Professor Davis and her history of struggle for economic, racial and gender justice."

The program included Fellowship Pastor Wendell Anthony, Congressman John Conyers, Detroit City Councilperson JoAnn Watson, Metro Detroit AFL-CIO President Chris Michalakis, Retired Wayne County Circuit Court Judge and civil rights activist Claudia Morcom, Metro AFL-CIO Civil Rights Committee Chair Michele Artt and UAW Vice-President Cindy Estrada.

Claudia Morcom introduced Prof. Davis. Forty years ago, Judge Morcom was a chairperson of the Detroit Free Angela Committee and recalled helping to organize a celebration of Prof. Davis' acquittal at the state fairgrounds in Detroit which drew 10,000 people. She described Prof. Davis as "one who has never forgotten the idea that unless we're united as a community of people - black, white, brown, yellow, we can never really accomplish anything, but if we do, we can accomplish anything.".[14]

Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute

As of January 2013, board members of the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute, were listed as:[15]

References

  1. [http://www.solidarity-us.org/site/node/716,Solidarity website, From South Africa to Palestine — an interview with Claudia Morcom, November-December 2002]
  2. Michigan Women's historical Center & hall of fame bio, accessed June 25, 2012
  3. [http://www.solidarity-us.org/site/node/716,Solidarity website, From South Africa to Palestine — an interview with Claudia Morcom, November-December 2002]
  4. Michigan Women's historical Center & hall of fame bio, accessed June 25, 2012
  5. [http://www.solidarity-us.org/site/node/716,Solidarity website, From South Africa to Palestine — an interview with Claudia Morcom, November-December 2002]
  6. CCDS 5th Conference agenda
  7. MCHR website, accessed Feb. 1, 2011
  8. http://kincaidsite.com/dsa/nl-archive.html
  9. http://www.cc-ds.org/convention_2009/Socialism_and_the_Emerging_Progressive_Majority.pdf
  10. Defend Diane Bukowski and freedom of the press: Supporters (accessed on Dec. 22, 2009)
  11. Sugar Law website: Essential: Advocacy for Workplace Justice 2007 Event flyer (accessed on Feb. 11, 2011)
  12. Sugar Law Center website: 2009 Essential: Advocacy for Community Justice Reception & Silent Auction (accessed on Feb. 11, 2011)
  13. Sugar Law Center for Economic k Social Justice website, accessed Jan 25, 2011
  14. Peoples World, Angela Davis speaks to 2,000 at Michigan rally, by: Mark Walton, October 25 2012
  15. Civil Liberties Institute, about us page, accessed Jan.10. 2012