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An Essay in Honor of Bob Bickel
William A. Kapli
I. Social Justice Heroes
One cannot really know Bob Bickel without knowing that he believes in
heroes. I know that, and I know that he has his own personal heroes. Bob’s
heroes are persons who are committed to social justice in all aspects of
life. The commitment is to empowering those who are powerless, lifting up
those who are down-trodden or marginalized, respecting the dignity and
humanity of all persons and recognizing their membership in the human
family, and working for equality for individuals and groups that have been
deprived of equality. That, for Bob, is social justice, and the heroes (and
others) who pursue it (including Bob) have a commitment that is passionate
and deeply entrenched.
Bob has many heroes, most of whom are connected to the civil rights
movement of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. But his personal favorites are
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. He often cannot speak of
them without choking up. His fondness for these heroes, and his memo-
ries of them, are so strong that he calls them “Martin” and “Bobby.” They
Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy, Stetson Uni-
versity College of Law.
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