The Missouri Commission on Human Rights named Cynthia Cordes the recipient of its 2016 Judge Arnold Krekel Trailblazer Award for promoting civil rights and equal justice. The award was presented during ceremonies at the University of Missouri – Kansas City today.
Cordes, a partner at Husch Blackwell and former federal prosecutor, leads the firm’s Human Trafficking Corporate Compliance initiative. She founded the firm’s Human Trafficking Legal Clinic, the first of its kind in the country, in 2013.
For the Human Trafficking Corporate Compliance initiative, Cordes provides anti-trafficking policies, training, and audits for corporations that are either mandated by new federal regulations to rid their supply chains of issues related to human trafficking or that otherwise elect to proactively address the issue in their company.
Through the firm’s Human Trafficking Legal Clinic, Cordes leads more than 40 of the firm’s partners and associates who volunteer their time to the firm’s human trafficking pro bono work, providing services to all types of human trafficking victims referred to the firm by law enforcement, prosecutors and partnering non-profit agencies. Cordes also serves as president of the firm’s 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Human Trafficking Assistance Fund, which provides funding for victims for resources in addition to their legal needs.
Cordes practices in the firm’s Government Compliance, Investigations & Litigation practice of the firm’s Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation group. She received the Judge Arnold Krekel Trailblazer award during the Commission’s 5th Annual Human Rights Conference. The award honors individuals or organizations that show passion for civil rights and equal justice and is named after the federal judge who presided over Missouri’s 1865 Constitutional Convention, signing the ordinance abolishing slavery in Missouri.