Congratulations to Carousel and Frank for winning 2021 DCBA Pro Bono Awards
This year’s DCBA Individual Attorney Pro Bono Award goes to Attorney Carousel Bayrd (Community Justice, Inc.). Atty. Bayrd volunteers at the Student Expulsion Prevention Project (StEPP), taking on complex and time-intensive cases. StEPP is a project developed by the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office to connect volunteer attorneys with youth facing expulsion hearings. StEPP’s mission is to keep students in school and to help youth, particularly youth of color, avoid the School to Prison Pipeline. A board member at StEPP praises Atty. Bayrd as a tireless and effective advocate for students in Dane County. Atty. Bayrd’s advocacy extends beyond direct representation including outreach to elected school board officials in an effort to understand the challenges facing students and to discuss the need for policy change protecting the rights of students of color in public schools. As an elected member of the Dane County Board of Supervisors for the past 14 years and as the Policy Coordinator at YCWA Madison, Atty. Bayrd dedicates her service to community social justice issues such as comprehensive criminal justice reform and the representation of women of color. Atty. Bayrd also hosts the radio show A Public Affair which covers local politics.
Attorney Frank Donahue (Community Justice, Inc.) receives an Honorable Mention. As a Spanish speaker, Atty. Donahue is the first attorney to begin offering immigration services at CJI and spends the majority of his practice representing clients under the Department of Justice’s Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant and assisting clients with the asylum application process. Atty. Donahue also volunteers as an attorney for the Small Claims Assistance Project (SCAP), the Southside Madison College Legal Clinic, and the Sunshine Legal Clinic in Sun Prairie.