C.F. Stradford Award

Each year, State’s Attorney Foxx presents the C.F. Stradford Awards in recognition of African-American History Month. This award honors judges, lawyers, and community leaders who best represent the values exemplified through the work of attorney Cornelius Francis Stradford. Throughout his career, Mr. Stradford demonstrated an unrelenting commitment to social justice and a dedication to opening doors and removing barriers for future African-American lawyers. Among his many achievements, Mr. Stradford was a trailblazing civil rights attorney and argued the landmark case of Hansberry et al. v. Lee before the United States Supreme Court. He also co-founded both the Cook County Bar Association and the National Bar Association, leading to more diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

Candidates for the C.F. Stradford Awards must fit the following criteria:

  • Reside in Cook County
  • Display eadership, honor, and integrity
  • Participate in community and activism
  • Experience with volunteer/ Pro-Bono work
  • Iinvolvement with youth and/or mentorship programs
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

2019 — see photos from the 2019 ceremony on Facebook here
The reverard Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., Rainbow PUSH Coalition
The Honorable John Fitzgerald Lyke, Jr., Judge of the circuit Court of Cook County
Pastor Christopher T. Harris, Bright Star Church of God in Christ
The Honorable Cornelious Elwood Toole (posthumously)

2018 — see photos from the 2018 ceremony on Facebook here
Tamar Manasseh, Mothers Against Senseless Killing
Freddrenna M. Lyle, Cook County Circuit Court

2017 — see photos from the 2017 ceremony on Facebook here
The Honorable P. Scott Neville, Jr. 
Dr. Ozzie Smith III, D. D. S.

Honorable Arthur F. Hill, Jr. — Associate Judge & Supervising Judge, Criminal Division, Circuit Court of Cook County
Rev. Gloria Randolph — Founder & Executive Director, Giving God the Glory Ministries
Honorable Marjorie C. Laws — Presiding Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County, Municipal Department, District 6
Rev. Dr. Marcenia Richards — Executive Director, Fierce Women of Faith
Stephen Mitchell — President, Stephen Mitchell Law Group, P.C.
Torrey L. Barrett — Executive Director, K.L.E.O. Community Family Life Center
Honorable Lewis Michael Nixon — Supervising Judge, Mortgage Foreclosure & Mechanics Lien Section of the Chancery Division, Circuit Court of Cook County
Melody Spann-Cooper — Chairman, Midway Broadcasting, President, WVON Radio
Honorable Judge Michael Brown — Circuit Court of Cook County, Criminal Division
Reverend Willie T. Barrow — Chairman, Emeritus, Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Honorable Judge Marcus R. Salone — Justice of the Appellate Court of Illinois
Andrea L. Zopp — President and CEO, Chicago Urban League
Honorable Justice Bertina E. Lampkin — Justice of the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, 1st Division
Honorable Sharon Johnson Coleman — Justice of the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, 2nd Division
Honorable Eugene Pincham  The Illinois Appellate Court (Posthumously)
Attorney Vincent F. Cornelius — President, Illinois Bar Foundation

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