Marquis Who’s Who Presents July’s Maker’s List with a Focus on Attorneys, Activists & Agents of Change

UNIONDALE, N.Y.July 6, 2021  Marquis Who’s Who (MWW), the world’s leading biographical publisher, is proud to announce the honorees for its July Maker’s List, highlighting American Attorneys, Activists & Agents of Change. The Maker’s Lists are directed by Erica Lee, CEO of MWW and Star Jones, award-winning media personality, women’s and diversity advocate, and executive editor. Monthly, these lists aim to recognize both established and emerging leaders in their respective fields.

“Our July list honors the legal minds and change-makers that have shaped our country and continue to fight for our rights and freedoms,” said Erica Lee, CEO of MWW. “This month, you will find a selection of the most tenacious and inspiring individuals, some of whom may be completely unknown to the general public, but have been key in the preservation of our civil liberties.”

The United States Constitution guarantees equal protection under the law, and for that reason, I have for my entire professional career, viewed the law as the great equalizer. In that way, attorneys aren’t just defenders of the law, they are also protectors of equality and guardians of justice,” said Star Jones, executive editor of the Marquis Who’s Who Maker’s List. “This month, we recognize the American attorneys, activists and agents of change for their intrepid spirit and relentless pursuit of a better, more just society.”

The MWW Maker’s List series began in January 2021 with Thought Leaders and progressed to include Catalysts for Change for Black History Month in FebruaryWomen Luminaries for Women’s History Month in MarchBusiness and Finance Leaders in April, Influencers in STEM and AAPI in May, and LGBTQ+ Catalysts for Change in June. Under the direction of Star Jones, monthly MWW Maker’s Lists are curated by a selection committee of 13 individuals to bring into focus outstanding thought leaders and change-makers across significant industries. Members of the selection committee hail from diverse professional backgrounds in publishing, entertainment, law, business, journalism, marketing, graphic design, public relations and print media.

The Attorneys, Activists & Agents of Change list includes:
  • Benjamin CrumpCrump is an American attorney who specializes in civil rights and catastrophic personal injury cases. His practice has focused on cases including Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. He became the attorney for the families of Ahmaud ArberyBreonna TaylorGeorge Floyd and Jacob Blake in 2020, and he is the founder of Ben Crump Law, based in Tallahassee, Florida.
  • Eric H. Holder Jr.Holder was the first African American U.S. Attorney General from 2009 to 2015. In 1997, President Clinton named Holder Deputy Attorney General, making him the first African American to hold the position.
  • Jonathan Ryan: Ryan serves as the executive director of the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), which provides free and low-cost legal services to immigrant children, families and refugees in Central and South Texas. Under Ryan’s leadership, RAICES has grown from an office of four to the largest nonprofit immigration law office in Texas, with locations in San Antonio, Austin, DallasFort WorthCorpus ChristiHouston and Washington, D.C. Ryan has helped expand the agency’s services to include the representation of thousands of unaccompanied children and mothers with children in detention each year, free services for DACA-eligible individuals across South Texas, and refugee resettlement.
  • Kristen Clarke: Clarke is an American attorney and serves as the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. She was previously the president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. She managed the Civil Rights Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office under Eric Schneiderman, and successfully represented Taylor Dumpson, the first Black American woman student body president of American University, in her case against white supremacists.
  • Marilyn ChinitzChinitz is a partner in the New York office of Blank Rome LLP, an Am Law 100 firm with 14 offices providing a full range of legal and advocacy services to clients around the world. An advocate for the elderly, Chinitz is passionate about fighting financial exploitation and elder abuse and offers legal services pro bono in this capacity. She was awarded as a Champion of Change by the Weinberg Center for Elder Justice in 2021.
  • Opal LeeLee is a retired teacher, counselor and activist, who was in the movement to make Juneteenth a federally recognized holiday. She is known as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth,” and on June 17, 2021, President Biden signed Senate Bill S.475, making Juneteenth the 11th  federal holiday.
  • Urvashi VaidVaid is an American LGBTQ rights activist, lawyer and writer. She is the CEO of The Vaid Group LLC, a social innovation firm that works with global and domestic organizations to advance equity, justice and inclusion. Vaid has held a series of roles at the National LGBTQ Task Force and is the author of “Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Liberation,” in 1995 and “Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics,” in 2012.
  • Zahid QuraishiQuraishi is the first Muslim American federal judge in U.S. history. He was confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey by a vote of 81-16 and served two tours in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and 2006. In 2019, he was appointed as a U.S. magistrate judge for the District of New Jersey and was the first Asian American to serve on the federal bench in the state.
The full Attorneys, Activists & Agents of Change list is organized alphabetically below, by first name:
  • Alice Wong
  • Andrew Freedman
  • Avril Haines
  • Barbara R. Arnwine
  • Benjamin Crump
  • Bryan Stevenson
  • Carmita Alonso
  • Caroline (Cara) Dessert
  • Cass R. Sunstein
  • Chike Aguh
  • David Lat
  • Eric H. Holder Jr.
  • Erin Brockovich
  • Erin EldridgeJerry BlackwellKeith EllisonMatthew Frank, and Steve Schleicher
  • Erwin Chemerinsky
  • Esmeralda Simmons
  • Ethel Branch
  • Felicia Davis
  • Jamie Margolin
  • Jane Fonda
  • Jerome Foster II
  • Hon. John M. Leventhal
  • Jonathan H. Adler
  • Jonathan Ryan
  • Jonathan Zittrain
  • Kathy Manning
  • Kristen Clarke
  • LaTosha Brown
  • Laurie N. Robinson Haden
  • Lawrence Lessig
  • Lisa Davis & Marcie Cleary
  • Margaret Huang
  • Marian Wright Edelman
  • Marilyn Chinitz
  • Merrick Garland
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones
  • Opal Lee
  • Richard Epstein
  • Richard A. Posner
  • Robin Steinberg
  • Sherrilyn Ifill
  • Stacey Abrams
  • Steve Vladeck
  • Steven Donziger
  • Tamika Danielle Mallory
  • Theodore V. Wells Jr.
  • Timuel D. Black Jr.
  • Tricia “CK” Hoffler
  • Urvashi Vaid
  • Zahid Quraishi
Marquis Who’s Who has also announced the release of their supplemental Maker’s List for July: Peacekeepers, Protectors & First RespondersThe list pays homage to individuals on the front lines who risk their lives to protect and defend the American people and the country’s values. The Peacekeepers, Protectors & First Responders list includes:
  • Alejandro Mayorkas: Mayorkas is the first Latino immigrant confirmed to serve as Secretary of Homeland Security since February 2, 2021. During the Obama administration, he served in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and then as Deputy Secretary. During his time at DHS, he led the development and enactment of DACA, negotiated cybersecurity and homeland security agreements with foreign governments, led the department’s response to Ebola and Zika, and helped build and administer the Blue Campaign to combat human trafficking. He also developed an emergency relief program for orphaned youth following the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
  • Commissioner Annette Nance-HoltNance-Holt is the first Black woman to lead the Chicago Fire Department in its 162-year history. She has dutifully served the Chicago Fire Department for more than 30 years. Most recently, she served as the Acting Fire Commissioner after Commissioner Richard Ford II retired following a lifetime of devoted service. Prior to becoming acting Commissioner, Nance-Holt was named the First Deputy Commissioner by Commissioner Ford in 2018, making her the first woman to hold the department’s number two spot.
  • Eugene GoodmanGoodman is an American United States Capitol Police officer who diverted rioters from the U.S. Senate chamber during the 2021 United States Capitol attack. He is a U.S. Army veteran who later served as the acting Deputy Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate. On February 12, 2021, the Senate adopted a resolution awarding Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal.
  • Jimmy CarterThe 39th president of the United States, Carter has dedicated the last 40 years to his work as a philanthropist and human rights advocate as the co-founder of The Carter Center. Helping to improve the quality of life for people around the world, he was presented with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, as well as the Hoover Medal and the United Nations Human Rights Prize in 1998. A key figure with the World Justice Project and Habitat for Humanity, Carter remains active in his peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts while continuing to be influential in today’s political climate.
  • Gen. Lloyd J. Austin IIIAustin is a former United States Army four-star general serving as the 28th United States Secretary of Defense since January 22, 2021. He is the first African American to serve as the United States Secretary of Defense. His 41-year career in the Army included command at the corps, division, battalion and brigade levels. Austin was awarded the Silver Star for his leadership of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Seven years later, he assumed the duties of Commanding General of United States Forces – Iraq, overseeing all combat operations in the country.
The full Peacekeepers, Protectors & First Responders list is organized alphabetically below, by first name:
  • Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas         
  • Amy Franck
  • Amy O’Sullivan
  • Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt
  • Barnard Kemter
  • Bonnie Castillo
  • Charlotte Clymer
  • Curtis Sliwa
  • Dani Woods
  • Deanne Criswell
  • Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Eugene Goodman
  • Flora D. Darpino
  • G. Keith Bryant
  • Greg Friese, MS, NRP
  • Hazel Ying Lee
  • Gen. James C. McConville
  • Janeé Harteau
  • Jimmy Carter
  • Joe Spalick
  • John Feal
  • John Miller
  • John Paul “Chief” Lilly
  • John P. Roth
  • Sgt. Jorge De Leon
  • Commanders Kathryn WijnaldumKimberly Jones, Kristel O’Cañas, and LaDonna Simpson
  • Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
  • Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III
  • Gen. Lori Robinson
  • Mark Milley
  • Sgt. Mary Ehiarinmwian
  • Megan Pfeiffer
  • Lt. Gen. Nadja West
  • Nichole Jolly
  • Rachel “Ruchie” Freier
  • Col. Ralph Puckett Jr.
  • Ramon Tallaj, MD
  • Rob Jones
  • Sandra Lindsay
  • Scott Thomson
  • Shelly Callahan
  • Cadet Simone Askew
  • Steve Buscemi
  • 2nd Lt. Sydney Barber
  • Tammy Duckworth
  • Theresa Kingsley-Varble
  • Thom Dick
  • Thom Porter
  • Sgt. Maj. Thomas “Patrick” Payne
  • Tulsi Gabbard
About Marquis Who’s Who® Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the first edition of Who’s Who in America®, Marquis Who’s Who® has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion, and entertainment. Today, Who’s Who in America® remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians, and executive search firms around the world. Marquis® publications may be visited via the official Marquis Who’s Who® website at

About the Marquis Maker’s Lists The Marquis Maker’s Lists seek to highlight, celebrate and recognize those people whose ideas, philosophies, positions, example or standards, talents, gifts or aptitude, discoveries, innovations or breakthroughs have the ability to influence, affect and transform. The selection committee for the Marquis Maker’s Lists is comprised of 13 diverse professionals from a variety of backgrounds in publishing, entertainment, law, business, journalism, marketing, graphic design, public relations, and print media. Committee members conduct extensive independent research and analyses to vet candidates relevant to each month’s Maker’s List theme. The committee meets routinely to thoughtfully dialogue through individual nominations to determine eligibility for inclusion. Thereafter, a thorough and objective ranking system is utilized and applied by the committee and tabulated by the executive director to confirm, authenticate and finalize each list.

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