- Associated Press - Thursday, April 2, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Sidney Hillman Foundation is creating a new award in honor of the late Nashville attorney George Barrett, a crusading lawyer known for his role in the civil rights and labor movements.

The foundation said the inaugural George Barrett Award will go to Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. The Alabama-based nonprofit is dedicated to fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

The foundation is known for honoring journalists with the Hillman Prize, but the Barrett Award will be given to an attorney who champions the causes the famed lawyer did in his more than five-decade career.

Hillman Foundation President Bruce Raynor said in a statement that smart and courageous lawyers are crucial for social change.

Barrett was 86 when he died in 2014.

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