Civil rights attorney Frederick K. Brewington will be the first recipient of the Michael D’Innocenzo Award for Outstanding Contributions to Constructive Public Dialogue, presented by Hofstra University’s Center for Civic Engagement.
“Frederick Brewington has been an advocate in the public sphere and in the courts, for the voting rights of Long Island’s minorities. He also fights for affordable housing and has been a leading voice and organizer against discriminatory policing,” Phil Dalton, director of the university’s Center for Civic Engagement and associate professor of writing studies and rhetoric, said in a press release.
“When he isn’t in the courts, he’s working with various local organizations to champion their causes and on college campuses, educating students on various issues. He has elevated the public discourse on many important issues and has effected important change in the process.”
The award was founded in honor of D’Innocenzo, who died in November 2021 at the age of 86, with the purpose of continuing his legacy. He was a Hofstra history professor, founding member of the Center for Civic Engagement and a Blank Slate Media columnist with his column “Out of Left Field.”
D’Innocenzo also co-founded the Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, activist organization that educates individuals on peace, nonviolence and human security issues, according to its website.
Community members who have made outstanding contributions to constructive public dialogue were eligible to be nominated for the award. Contributions could be “noteworthy public advocacy for marginalized viewpoints, the public pursuit of common ground on an important public issue or work fostering forums for the free, open and safe exchange of ideas,” according to the press release.
Brewington was selected by the university’s Center for Civic Engagement advisory board among seven other nominees from throughout Long Island.
The award will be presented at Hofstra’s annual end-of-year dinner at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.