WASHINGTON – John M. Rosenberg, former director of the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky (AppalReD), received the American Bar Association Grassroots Advocacy Award for his longtime service and his outstanding work in providing access to legal services on Wednesday night.
Rosenberg served as director of AppalReD from the time it first received funding from the Office of Economic Opportunity in 1970 until he retired almost three decades later. The largest legal aid organization in Kentucky, AppalReD provides free legal services to low-income residents in eastern and south central Kentucky, each year helping approximately 6,000 clients to obtain work, adequate food, health care and housing. In issues ranging from employment discrimination to protecting victims of domestic violence, Rosenberg has been a stalwart advocate.
Prior to his work at AppalReD, Rosenberg served for eight years as a trial attorney and section chief in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, litigating discrimination cases in the deep south. He was part of the team that prosecuted the murderers of the three civil rights workers who were killed in Philadelphia, Miss., in 1964.