2019 Frederick Douglass Awards Dinner Honorees

2019 Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award


Scott Budnick
Film Producer, Founder of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, President and CEO of One Community, LLC

Scott Budnick

Scott Budnick is an American film producer and Founder of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), a non-profit organization that provides a support network for the formerly incarcerated. Budnick is currently serving as President and CEO of his newly-formed company, One Community, LLC. This venture uniquely merges Budnick’s background in storytelling and impact, as a film and TV production company that plans to leverage the movies and shows it makes to effect positive social change.

As the former Executive Vice President of Todd Phillips’ Green Hat Films, Budnick produced films including “Due Date,” “Project X,’’ and the highest-grossing R-rated comedy trilogy in film history, ‘’The Hangover.’’ The series grossed over $1.4 billion. Budnick also served as Associate Producer and Co-Producer on ‘’Starsky and Hutch’’ and ‘’School for Scoundrels,’’ respectively.

Prior to the formation of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Budnick was a fierce advocate for social justice and a fairer judicial system. In 2003, he began volunteering with InsideOUT Writers (IOW), a program that brings creative writing into juvenile halls. He continues to teach and also sits on the organization’s Board of Directors. In 2014, Budnick founded ARC, whose mission is to reduce incarceration, improve the outcomes of formerly incarcerated individuals, and build healthier communities. ARC provides formerly incarcerated men and women with direct services such as housing, counseling, job training and opportunities, mentoring, and education. The organization also empowers and mobilizes its members to play a role in justice reform efforts through direct policy advocacy. Legislative successes include the passage of Proposition 57 (2016), which aims to strengthen California’s justice system and increase public safety by expanding rehabilitation in prisons and improving the process by which youth can be tried as adults, and Senate Bills 260 (2013) and 261 (2016), and Assembly Bill 1308 (2017), which, collectively, provide people who were under the age of 18 at the time of their crime an opportunity to work toward rehabilitation and the possibility of a lower sentence.

For his work with youth in the criminal justice system, Scott was awarded the 2012 California Governor’s Volunteer of the Year. He sits on the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) and was selected to serve as a Board Member for President Barack Obama’s foundation, the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.



2019 Frederick Douglass Equal Justice Award


The Honorable Robert Reynolds “Renny” Cushing
Member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, Founder and Executive Director of Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights

Renny CushingRenny Cushing is a multi-term member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives and the founder and Executive Director of Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights (MVFHR). His father’s murder in 1988 has shaped his work as an advocate for crime victims and as an opponent of capital punishment.

As a victim-abolitionist Renny has been a pioneer in the effort to bridge death penalty abolition groups and the victims’ rights movement. He travels throughout the U.S. and the world speaking with and on behalf of victims who oppose capital punishment.

He has testified before the U.S. Congress and several state legislatures on victims’ issues and the death penalty, articulating policies that promote violence prevention, meet the needs of crime victims, and end state killings. He has written and lectured extensively and is the co-author of Dignity Denied: The Experience of Murder Victims’ Family Members Who Oppose the Death Penalty, and I Don’t Want Another Kid to Die, a collection of homicide family members’ voices against the juvenile death penalty. He also appears, along with many other MVFHR founding members, in Not In Our Name, a collection of profiles of murder victims’ families who oppose executions.

A lifelong social justice activist, Renny has been a Justice of the Peace for the past 40 years. As a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, he has been involved in victims’ issues and sponsored a measure that would have abolished the death penalty in that state. Renny wrote the Whistleblower’s Protection Act, a groundbreaking law providing assistance to victims of domestic violence. He also supported the passage of laws establishing a victims’ bill of rights, victims’ advocate programs, and a victims’ compensation fund. In 2001, as plaintiff in Cushing v. McLaughlin, he was successful in a landmark state court case brought to enforce New Hampshire’s Victims Bill of Rights law.