ACLU of Maine Will Present Civil Liberties Award to Members of the Lee Family on April 18 in Portland
Portland – The ACLU of Maine will present the Justice Louis Scolnik Award to members of the Lee family at its 29th annual dinner on Tuesday, April 18 at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland. Adam, Cathy and Jonathan Lee, along with their father Shep, who is being honored posthumously, have been champions of the human rights and civil liberties of all Mainers for decades.
“At the ACLU we are fond of saying no battle for civil liberties ever stays won. It is up to every generation to keep up the fight,” said Alison Beyea, executive director of the ACLU of Maine. “No one better exemplifies multi-generational activism than this family. For the Lees, generosity – of both time and sprit – is a true family value.”
The Justice Louis Scolnik Award was established in 1989 to honor Mainers who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the protection of civil liberties. The award is named for former Maine Supreme Court Justice Louis Scolnik, a co-founder and the first president of the Maine Civil Liberties Union (now the ACLU of Maine).
Justice Scolnik, who is 94, will present the award to the Lee family at the dinner on April 18. Senators George Mitchell and Angus King will also give remarks.
Adam Lee serves as chairman of the board of Lee Auto Malls. Under his leadership, the company has built a remarkable record of community engagement, most recently as a prominent supporter of immigrants’ rights. Adam has been a tireless advocate for environmental justice, working to ensure all Mainers can enjoy a healthy and safe environment. He currently serves on the boards of MPBN, where he chairs a $30 million capital campaign, Maine Conservation Voters, and the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine.
Cathy Lee is an advocate for the rights of women and girls, founding the Maine Law Justice for Women Lecture Series to highlight issues that affect women in Maine and around the world. She is also the founder of Maine Climate Table and a founding member of the Maine State Bar Association (MSBA) Women’s Law Section. She was awarded the MSBA Caroline Dube Glassman Award for outstanding service to women in 1995, the Volunteer Lawyer’s Project President’s Award for establishing a Domestic Violence Pro Bono Panel of Attorneys in 2005, and the Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine Leadership Award in 2015. She is the managing partner of Lee International, which advises on climate change projects and policies.
Jonathan Lee has long been an activist for LGBT rights in Maine, serving as a fundraiser for the first Maine Won’t Discriminate campaign in 1994 and founding Maine SpeakOut, a speakers bureau dedicated to educating people about issues facing the LGBT community, in 1995. He also directed and produced the film “Paul Goodman Changed My Life,” which opened to critical acclaim in 2011. He is currently working on a documentary, “Lewiston Stories.”
Their father, Shep, was a prominent businessman who grew Lee Auto Malls into the largest chain of car dealerships in Maine. Throughout his life, he was passionately engaged in public affairs and politics, always striving to build a more just and equal society. In addition to his leadership in the ACLU, he was an active member of the NAACP and a passionate supporter of public education, giving generously to the George Mitchell Scholarship Fund.
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The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.