CHICAGO—Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan will be the recipient of the inaugural Scheinfeld Award, Woodstock Institute announced today. The Scheinfeld Award, named in honor of Woodstock Institute’s founding family, will be presented to Attorney General Madigan for her work to protect consumers, promote economic opportunity, and advance financial justice. Attorney General Madigan will accept the award and deliver a short address on October 2, 2013 at Woodstock Institute’s 40th anniversary research symposium and bash, Babies, Boomers, and Beyond: Economic Security, Community Prosperity, and Equity Across the Lifespan
The Scheinfeld Award honors an individual who embodies the passion and commitment of Woodstock Institute’s founders, Aaron and Sylvia Scheinfeld. Attorney General Madigan’s outstanding work to advance financial justice embodies the values of the Scheinfelds.

Attorney General Madigan and her team have partnered with consumer advocates on issues such as fair lending, consumer protection, and foreclosure prevention. She was an early supporter of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and a leader on state legislation to rein in payday and installment lenders in 2005 and 2010. Attorney General Madigan relied on Woodstock Institute’s research when she took on mortgage lending giants such as Countrywide and Wells Fargo for discriminatory lending practices against African American and Latino borrowers, actions which eventually resulted in national settlement agreements worth more than $500 million in relief to borrowers across the country.
Attorney General Madigan also stood up for homeowners as a lead negotiator in a national settlement with the country’s five largest banks for improperly handling foreclosure documents, a practice commonly known as “robosigning.” The settlement has already brought more than $2 billion in relief for Illinois homeowners affected by the foreclosure crisis.
The Scheinfeld Award is being launched in honor of Woodstock Institute’s 40th anniversary, which is being celebrated October 2-3 with a research symposium and bash. The research symposium features top economic security experts and policymakers from across the country. Keynote speakers include Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Deputy Director Steve Antonakes, University of California-Los Angeles professor and retirement expert Dr. Fernando Torres-Gil, and Julia Stasch of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Panel discussions throughout the symposium will cover economic challenges and opportunities faced by consumers across the lifespan, including retirement security, college affordability and student loan debt, mobile and prepaid technologies, and the future of home ownership for people of color. Experts from the New American Foundation, the Urban Institute, AARP, the Federal Reserve Board, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Pew Charitable Trusts, and other leading organizations will present at the symposium.
For more information, contact Katie Buitrago at or 312-368-0310.
About the Scheinfeld Award
In the 1960s, Aaron and Sylvia Scheinfeld established a non-profit conference center in Woodstock, Illinois. They wanted to give community leaders a place to work together, free of distractions, on societal issues in the Chicago region such as redlining, inequality, and racial discrimination. As it became clear that the organization needed ongoing commitment to adequately address these issues, the Scheinfelds established the nonprofit Woodstock Institute in Chicago in 1973. Woodstock Institute has generated many research, policy, and coalition successes. Each is a credit to the Scheinfelds’ commitment to supply community organizations, policymakers and business leaders with good information and analyses that enable them to promote financial justice through evidence-based programs, policies, and products. The Scheinfeld family is proud to honor their forebears’ vision—and to encourage today’s financial justice champions to continue their legacy by creating the Scheinfeld Award in 2013. Periodically, Woodstock Institute will designate deserving champions to receive the honor.
About Woodstock Institute
Woodstock Institute is a leading nonprofit research and policy organization in the areas of fair lending, wealth creation, and financial systems reform.  Woodstock Institute works locally and nationally to create a financial system in which lower-wealth persons and communities of color can safely borrow, save, and build wealth so that they can achieve economic security and community prosperity. Our key tools include: applied research; policy development; coalition building; and technical assistance.
Press registration policy
Complimentary press passes are available for Woodstock Institute’s 40th anniversary bash on October 2 from 5:30-8pm at the Sheraton Chicago (301 E. North Water Street). Members of the press who wish to attend the research symposium in addition to the bash will need to purchase a discounted ticket. For a press pass to the bash only, please contact Katie Buitrago at or 312-368-0310. To purchase discounted research symposium tickets, visit Note: the keynote luncheon on October 2 is closed to the media. The research symposium will be open to the press beginning at 3 p.m. on October 2 and all day October 3.