About Franklin H. Williams
A Man of Vision and Purpose
The Franklin H. Williams
Judicial Commission is named in
honor of the distinguished
attorney and civil rights
leader, Franklin H. Williams.
In 1988, Chief Judge Sol
Wachtler appointed Mr.
Williams chair of the New York State Judicial
Commission on Minorities responsible for conducting
extensive research on the perception and treatment of
minorities in the court system.
A Native New Yorker, Mr. Williams received his law
degree from Fordham University in 1945. He served
as an assistant counsel to Thurgood Marshall, special
counsel to the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People ("N.A.A.C.P.") From
1950 to 1959, Mr. Williams was the Director of the
west coast N.A.A.C.P and was credited with major
inroads in the civil rights movement involving cases on
school desegregation and restrictive covenants.
Mr. Williams was also instrumental in the development
of the Peace Corps and eventually became the
Peace Corps Regional Director for Africa. The Peace
Corps currently honors his memory with the Franklin
H. Williams Awards given thus far to over 90 outstanding
returned Peace Corps Volunteers.
Franklin H. Williams went on to serve as the United
States Ambassador to Ghana.
we look to the new century, creation of an atmosphere
without even the appearance of racial bias must be
the prime objective of our courts…we should
not open the wound unless we are prepared to heal
Franklin H. Williams