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Partner Dan Kirschner Speaks about Father’s Human Rights Work at 2022 Kovler Center Benefit

Corboy & Demetrio Partner, Daniel S. Kirschner, who served as Co-Chair at the Heartland Alliance Marjorie Kovler Center’s “Power of Healing” benefit on June 14, 2022, gave an inspirational speech about his father’s legacy in the field of international human rights. Corboy & Demetrio was proud to be a part of this extraordinary evening.

In Closing Remarks, Dan spoke about the work of his late father, Dr. Robert H. Kirschner, M.D., a forensic pathologist who dedicated his career to investigating human rights atrocities around the world.  The Robert H. Kirschner Award for Global Activism was created in memory of Dan’s late father to honor Dr. Kirschner’s human rights work domestically and abroad, and particularly recognition of his collaborative work with the Marjorie Kovler Center. 

During the Kovler Center’s fundraiser, the Kirschner Award was given to Allida Black, a world-renowned scholar in the field of gender politics and human rights policy, who gave a moving acceptance speech.  It was presented, remotely, by Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton who, herself, was present and recognized at the “Power of Healing” event three years earlier for her life-long contributions to human rights.

The Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture is a program of The Heartland Alliance and is one of the first torture treatment centers in the United States. Since 1987, Kovler Center has provided integrated, high-quality mental health, medical, and social services to survivors of politically sanctioned torture and their families.  A volunteer network of professionals provides psychotherapeutic and physical rehabilitation treatment services to survivors of torture. The Kovler Center also trains and educates service providers locally and globally and advocates for the end of torture worldwide.

Corboy & Demetrio has been proud to support the Kovler Center over the years and, again, this as a Sponsor of the 2022 “Power of Healing” benefit.

An excerpt of the remarks of Corboy & Demetrio Partner Daniel S. Kirschner:

"We are all here because we feel connected to the human rights mission and to the imperative work of the Kovler Center. For my father, Bob Kirschner, it was important to him that his human rights work on the international stage necessarily included a focus on human rights work right here in Chicago. His credibility and his integrity required as much. In documenting torture, extrajudicial executions, and mass graves, he brought the same vigor and intellectual honesty to bringing justice to victims throughout the Americas, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East as he did right here at home for victims of police torture under Chicago Police Commander Burge and for so many of the displaced, asylum-seeking refugees served by the Kovler Center.

For him, as a child of McCarthyism seeing so many of his parents’ friends and colleagues displaced, he strongly felt ‘how do you speak against a foreign government if you will not do so with the same vigor and vitriol when our own government missteps?’ And, in investigating religious and ethnic persecution in Rwanda and Yugoslavia, how do you do that as a Jew if you do not do the same for Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories.

Being here tonight, you have all honored my dad’s legacy by supporting the important and necessary international human rights work of the Kovler Center on a local level, right here in Chicago. This mission did not start tonight, and it does not end tonight. I ask you to please join me in continuing to stay engaged through service, volunteerism, generous giving, and sharing the work of the Kovler Center with your friends, families, and colleagues."


An excerpt of the remarks of Allida Black, Recipient of the Robert H. Kirschner Award for Global Activism:

“I’m here because yes, I got this award, but I am here because of the glorious joy that my life has brought me to work with extraordinary people. For Hillary Rodham Clinton to be in the world is the greatest gift in the universe, and what Hillary taught me is that you don’t care what people say about you. You don’t care what the press says about you. You care on what has to be done, and you risk every fiber of your being, and your reputation to get it done, and when people tell you no, you keep going.”


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