2020 Annual Human Rights Gala

CJA Annual Human Rights Gala

The Center for Justice and Accountability celebrated the contributions of CJA co-founder Gerald Gray, recognized the women and girls seeking justice for the Yazidi genocide, and honored Debevoise & Plimpton for its work towards ensuring perpetrators of atrocity crimes are held accountable.

Champion of Justice

Gerald Gray

Gerald Gray, LCSW, MPH, a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker, founded CJA in 1998. His experience with torture survivors in private practice motivated him to found one of the first torture treatment centers in the country. While working there, he discovered the pervasive problem of torturers living in the U.S. This injustice spurred him to create CJA to provide legal redress to survivors of the most serious human rights violations.

Acceptance Speech

Judith Lee Stronach Award

Yazidi women seeking justice

In August 2014, ISIS began what would soon become recognized as a genocide against the Yazidis, an ethno-religious minority living in ISIS-held territory in Iraq. During the genocide, women and girls were systematically enslaved, tortured, and raped. Now many of these brave women are demanding justice and finding solidarity with other survivors.

Acceptance Speech

Partner in Justice

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a global law firm headquartered in New York, and is CJA’s partner and co-counsel on our groundbreaking cases seeking accountability for the Lutheran Church Massacre, one of the worst atrocities committed during Liberia’s back-to-back civil wars, and for the Sri Lankan military’s systematic campaign of violence against journalists during the end of its civil war.

Acceptance Speech



Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati



Debevoise & Plimpton
Robert Flynn
Gerald Gray & Coleen Higa


Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP
Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP
Beth Van Schaack and Brent Lang



Alan and Agnes Mendelson
William and Seema Aceves
Hon. Rebecca Westerfield and Ivy Fine
Lokelani Devone and Annette Brands
Stephen Martin and Douglas Schmidt
Hiro Tanaka and Carmen Cheung


The Honorable Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein, Senator representing the State of California, led the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the CIA’s use of torture
Comisión Colombiana de Juristas, partner to CJA’s efforts on Colombia
Sherman and Sterling, pro bono co-counsel for Colvin v. Syria Arab Republic

The Honorable David Scheffer, former and first United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues
Hassan Bility, Director of the Global Justice and Research Project, Liberia
Mintz Group

Youk Chhang, Executive Director, Documentation Center of Cambodia
Morgan, Lewis & pro bono counsel

Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp, former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues
Colectivo de Abrogados “José Alvear Restrepo”
Tara Lee and DLA Piper, pro bono co-counsel for Warfaa v. Ali

Navi Pillay, former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and judge at the International Criminal Court.
Chadbourne & Parke LLP
Suleiman Ismail Bolaleh, Chairman of the Horn of Africa Human Rights Watch Committee, the leading human rights advocacy organization in Somaliland

The Honorable Claudia Paz y Paz, Guatemala’s former Attorney General who oversaw the genocide prosecution of President and General Efrain Rios Montt
Latham & Watkins LLP
Ahmed Salah, Coordinator for the Coalition of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution in Egypt, co-founder of the 6th April Youth Movement and of the Egyptian Movement for Change

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati 
Ambassador Robert White, Senior Fellow, Center for International Policy and former Ambassador to El Salvador and Paraguay
Lydia Cacho, Journalist and Founder of CIAM Cancún which works to hold perpetrators of violence against women accountable in Mexico

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Jose Pablo Baraybar, Director of the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team, whose groundbreaking work has been instrumental in prosecutions of human rights abusers
William Neukom, Founder, President, and CEO of the World Justice Project and former CEO of the San Francisco Giants
Kamala Harris, junior Senator for the state of California former Attorney General for California and District Attorney for San Francisco

Cooley Godward Kronish LLP
Helen Mack Chang, founder of the Myrna Mack Foundation and partner in CJA’s Guatemala Genocide Case

Mario Joseph, Founder of Bureau Des Avocats Internationaux, a leading Haitian human rights legal NGO and CJA partner

Harold Hongju Koh, former Legal Adviser to the U.S. Department of State and Dean of Yale Law School.

Paul Hoffman, co-founder of CJA and leading international human rights attorney


Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Baker Botts LLP
Bass, Berry & Sims PLC
Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP
Bertrand, Fox & Elliot
Beveridge & Diamond PC
California Labor Federation
Chadbourne & Parke LLP
Clinton Reilly Holdings
Cooley LLP
Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP
Covington & Burling LLP
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
DLA Piper
Eagle Harbor Group LLC
Farallone Pacific Insurance Services
Fitzgerald Abbot & Beardsley LLP
Frisby & Associates
Gap Foundation
Ghosh Financial Group of Wells

Fargo Advisors
Hadsell & Stormer, Inc.
Holland & Knight LLP
Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
King & Spalding
King Family Foundation
Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Latham & Watkins LLP
Meyers Nave
Minami Tamaki LLP
The Mintz Group
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Morrison & Foerster LLP
The Morrison & Foerster Foundation
Munger Tolles & Olson LLP
Nolan, Armstrong & Barton, LLP
O’Melveny & Meyers LLP
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Pacific Gas & Electric Company
Patton Boggs LLP
Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai LLP

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP
Ropes & Gray LLP
Rosen, Bien, Galvin & Grunfeld LLP
Roje Consulting LLC
Sack Properties
Salesforce Foundation
Sandler Foundation
Sanford Heisler Kimpel, LLP
Sard Verbinnem & Co.
Schonbrun DeSimone Deplow
Harris & Hoffman LLP
Shargel & Co.
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Union Bank
Wilson Elser Moskowitz
Edelman & Dicker LLP
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation
Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale LLP
Van Löben Sels/RembeRock Foundation