On behalf of the Stateway Gardens community, Samuel Alexander presented a community Appreciation Award to the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic of the University of Chicago Law School, recognizing the "outstanding and dedicated service" of more than twenty Chicago Law students, Clinical Professors Randolph Stone and Craig Futterman, and Hyde Park civil rights attorney Tom Peters. The award was presented at the championship game of the 2004 Stateway Roundball Classic, a time-honored tradition known for promoting community and non-violence in Chicago Public Housing.
The tournament came to an abrupt end in 2001, following a Chicago police raid, that resulted in the mass search and seizure of hundreds of innocent adults and children. After a three-year hiatus, the Roundball Classic returned this summer to Stateway, following the Clinic's half-million dollar settlement of a class action lawsuit challenging the raid.
Friends and family connected by a shared history came together from near and far to participate in this beloved community event. As the final whistle sounded, Stateway community members took time out to express their gratitude to the Mandel Clinic. Futterman commented, "This award is more special to me because it comes from the community. Our students touched the lives of real people and enabled folks to experience some justice."