Honoring a Quiet Crusader

The Eighth Annual Children’s Rights Benefit allowed us to recognize remarkable individuals committed to improving the lives of children. One such man holds a particularly special place in our hearts: attorney Fred Dorwart, head of the Tulsa, Oklahoma law firm Frederic Dorwart, Lawyers.

When CR fought an incredibly tough battle to overhaul Oklahoma’s dangerous foster care system, Fred stood by us every step of the way, putting the full weight of his firm behind the case. Collectively the firm donated 4,000 hours, but Fred refused to accept one dime for legal costs. He also served as a key strategist, helping navigate the tricky waters of a system that had long lacked any accountability.

Fred’s enormous contributions to his home state were evident from the roster of notables who flew in to honor him–friends from the University of Tulsa, the George Kaiser Foundation, even his high-school debate coach. Yet Fred is nothing short of humble. Once, when walking out of the courtroom, he bristled when thanked for his work. “Don’t thank me,” he admonished. “These are our kids.”

He was just as modest when accepting his award. “Now, Oklahoma’s children live in hope. With the passage of time, thanks to Children’s Rights, they will live in safety.” But we know the truth: those kids, along with CR, owe Fred Dorwart a tremendous debt of gratitude.

Read additional articles in Notes from the Field, the Children’s Rights Newsletter: