David J. Burton (MSU class of 1967) was honored recently in Washington, DC by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law as one of its 2013 Annual Award recipients.
Burton is president of the Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education. His organization, representing current and former students of Maryland’s four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), filed suit against the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). The lawsuit charges that Maryland’s four HBCUs have been the victims of historical unfair treatment as a result of the State maintaining policies of a racially segregated system of higher education.
Burton was recognized with the Lawyers’ Committee’s “Frank R. Parker Client Award,” given for client long-term commitment, perseverance and dedication to the cause of civil rights.
“I am both honored and humbled by this award,” says David Burton, who is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. “Throughout the lengthy process of this lawsuit, the only award I have been hoping to get is to finally see fair and equitable treatment for our schools and our students. The Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education owes a good deal of gratitude to the Lawyers’ Committee for its invaluable assistance in helping us to achieve our goal.”
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is representing the interests of Burton and the other plaintiffs in the HBCU lawsuit. The group handed out awards this year as a part of its 50th Anniversary celebration.