C.F. Stradford Award

Every year, the Cook County State's Attorney's office recognizes distinguished community members with the C.F. Stradford Award. Cornelius Francis Stradford was a pioneering civil rights attorney and a co-founder of both the National Bar Association and the Cook County Bar Association. He was the lead counsel representing African-Americans following the race riots of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921. He has served as an inspiration for countless attorneys, and was well known for his unwavering dedication to securing full equal protection under the law for African-Americans.

Stradford Award recipients will be selected based on the following criteria:

  •     Leadership, Honor, Integrity, and Fairness
  •     Community Involvement and Activism
  •     Charity and/or Pro Bono work
  •     Youth Involvement and/or Mentorship Programs

In addition to honoring outstanding attorneys and judges who exemplify the qualities of serving justice in the community, our office also provides two internship positions in the State's Attorney's Office. Additionally, a $1,000 scholarship is donated by our sponsor, State Farm Insurance.

To nominate a Cook County community member for consideration, please send the following information in a single email to tasha.williams@cookcountyil.gov. The subject line of your email should be “C.F. Stradford Award Nominee.” Nomination materials should include:
  1. The Nomination Form (download; PDF)
  2. The nominee’s professional biography 
  3. A nomination letter detailing why the nominee is deserving of the C.F. Stradford Award


Past Stradford Award Recipients

Tamar Manasseh, Mothers Against Senseless Killing
Freddrenna M. Lyle, Cook County Circuit Court

The Honorable P. Scott Neville, Jr. 
Dr. Ozzie Smith III, D. D. S.

The Honorable Reginald H. Baker
Attorney Victor P. Henderson

The Honorable Patricia Martin Bishop
Attorney Larry R. Rogers, Sr.

The Honorable Curtis Heaston, Presiding Judge, Juvenile Justice Division
The Honorable Justice Shelvin Louise-Marie Hall, The Illinois Appellate Court

The Honorable John O. Steele, President of the Illinois Judges Association
Professor Patricia Mell, Dean, John Marshall Law School

The Honorable Marianne Jackson, Associate Judge, Juvenile Justice Division
The Honorable Michael Stuttley, Associate Judge, Juvenile Justice Division

The Honorable Blanche Manning, U.S. District Court Judge
Attorney James D. Montgomery, The Cochran Law Firm

The Honorable Timothy C. Evans, Chief Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County

The Honorable William Cousins, Jr., U.S. District Court Judge
The Honorable John W. Rogers, Sr., retired

The Honorable Ellis E. Reid, Circuit Court of Cook County

The Honorable Earl Strayhorn, retired
Carol Mosely-Braun, former U.S. Senator

Jewel Stradford-LaFontant, former U.S. Deputy Solicitor General (posthumously)

The Honorable John H. Stroger, Jr., President,
Cook County Board of Commissioners

The Honorable Charles E. Freeman, Illinois Supreme Court

Cecil A. Partee, former Cook County State's Attorney (posthumously)

The Honorable Ann Clair Williams, U.S. District Court

Randolph Stone, former Cook County Public Defender

Earl Neal, former Cook County assistant public defender