June 4, 2012--Washington, DC-- On Saturday June 2, 2012 the University of Chicago conferred the Public Service Award on Eric Rosenthal, founder and Executive Director of Disability Rights International (DRI). The award is given to distinguished alumni who have made exceptional service to the community. Rosenthal is cited for his leadership at DRI, an organization "renowned for its work training human rights and disability activists and investigating human rights violations against people with disabilities, and using the international media to generate support for new protections worldwide."
Rosenthal dedicated his award to the memory of his former professor and mentor, Harold Richman, founding director of Chapin Hall Center for Children, a policy research center at the University of Chicago. "The community integration of children and adults with disabilities from asylums and snakepits in the United States was nothing less than a liberation movement, and I learned about that as a young student of Professor Richman," said Rosenthal. "In his humble and soft-spoken manner, Richman conveyed the changes in law and social policy that led to deinstitutionalization as every bit as important and inspiring as Martin Luther King Jr.'s fight against segregation. I had the opportunity to thank Professor Richman personally, and I was honored when he joined DRI's Advisory Board. But this good man and great teacher left us much too soon." After a long battle with cancer, Harold Richman died in Chicago on 30 July 2009. The awards ceremony took place June 2 on the campus of the University of Chicago at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. Visit alumniandfriends.uchicago.edu/
alumniweekend for more information.