The Urban League of Broward County (ULBC) has selected Fort Lauderdale attorney Sidney C. Calloway, a partner in the Government Law Practice Group of Shutts & Bowen LLP, as the recipient of the 2007 Margaret Roach Humanitarian Award for inspiring change and demonstrating ongoing leadership in the advancement of social justice and race relations.
Calloway, an accomplished litigator, mentor to aspiring young attorneys, and champion of minorities, will be honored at the 2007 Equal Opportunity Day (EOD) Awards Dinner to be held in late September. The awards dinner is one of Broward’s premier special events, attracting a multi-cultural and diverse mix of the county’s community and corporate leaders.
“The selection committee felt that Sidney Calloway is a shining example of a community leader who has worked tirelessly year after year to promote equal opportunity while motivating others to support the advancement of minorities,” said Lisa Barker, Vice President of Development for the Urban League of Broward County. “Additionally, Sidney has helped engineer profound changes in our political, educational and social institutions through his leadership in the T.J. Reddick Bar Association, NAACP of Broward County, Early Learning Coalition of Broward County, and many other organizations.”
George I. Platt, Managing Partner of Shutts & Bowen’s Fort Lauderdale office, nominated Calloway for the humanitarian award, which will be presented by AutoNation.
“Having worked with Sidney for nine years, I have developed a deep appreciation and respect for his integrity, generosity of spirit, and commitment to protecting and enhancing the rights of the disadvantaged,” Platt said. “Sidney has been an active and productive community activist on a host of issues and public policies.”
While President of the T.J. Reddick Bar Association in 1997, Calloway helped bring about historic changes at the School Board of Broward County, which modified its at-large system of governance to the present hybrid system of single-member and at-large districts. Three years later, Sidney participated in a similar initiative which transformed Broward County government from an at-large system to the present nine-member single-district system which promotes diversity, said Platt, a former Broward County Commissioner.
Calloway, who personally has mentored more than three dozen aspiring young attorneys in recent years, also spearheaded a Shutts & Bowen diversity initiative by creating a 2006-2007 professional development series aimed at minority law students and young professionals in South Florida. The well-attended workshops, entitled “Now That I’m Here, Where Do I Go?,” were open to all local law firms and government lawyers.
Also, during his tenure as President and Executive Board member of the T.J. Reddick Bar Association, Calloway collaborated with the law school at Nova Southeastern University in creating a bar exam preparation model that led to high bar exam passage rates by minority program participants. In addition, as an active member of the Board of Directors of the Early Learning Coalition of Broward County, Calloway has helped the coalition fulfill its mandate of providing school readiness and voluntary pre-kindergarten funding to families and child care providers since 2002.
A seasoned litigator experienced in eminent domain, civil rights, labor and employment, and transportation law, Calloway has fought numerous high-profile court battles on behalf of minorities. During the past seven years, Calloway has served as the lead Florida attorney representing black farmers in their pursuit of damage claims against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which settled a landmark class-action discrimination case over delayed or denied loan applications. Platt also noted that Calloway is pursuing a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of a Hispanic Baptist Church, which is seeking to operate a small church on Lyons Road in Broward County.
A former Assistant Public Defender and former Assistant Attorney General in Broward, Calloway currently is serving his second four-year term as a Governor’s appointee to the Florida Transportation Commission, providing policy advice and recommendations to the Governor and the Florida Legislature on statewide transportation policy. Calloway, a resident of Davie, Florida, also currently serves as Vice Chair and General Counsel for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce.
The 2007 Equal Opportunity day (EOD) Awards Dinner presented by American Express will be held on Friday, Sept. 28, 2007 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau. Other award recipients who will be honored by the ULBC include Nicki Grossman, President and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (Diversity Champion); Dr. Barbara Bernard Shaw, a mentor, chaplain, community activist and part-time teacher (Kathleen Wright Legacy Award); and Marcia Barry-Smith, Senior Vice President of Bank Atlantic FSB (Thurgood Marshall Advocacy Award). Proceeds from the dinner will support the Urban League’s youth, education, economic, and health and community empowerment programs and services.
Celebrating over 32 years of community service, the Urban League of Broward County is a community-based not-for-profit organization whose mission is to assist African Americans achieve social and economic equality.