Peter Canfield already was known as a fierce defender of the First Amendment when, in 1994, he stepped up to help launch the Georgia First Amendment Foundation. He recruited board members, crafted bylaws, and conducted training and outreach for the fledgling nonprofit dedicated to open government, free press and free speech.

“Peter was there to give authority and weight to what we were saying to police departments, journalists, county governments and others,” said GFAF’s founding president Hyde Post.

For 29 years, Canfield’s commitment to the foundation and its mission has not wavered. GFAF is honoring Canfield with its Founder’s Award, to be presented at the 2023 Weltner Banquet, 6:30 p.m., Oct. 26, at the Emory Conference Center in Atlanta. The award is a tribute to his leadership and legal acumen, which have benefited not only the foundation but all Georgians by increasing government transparency.

Beyond GFAF, Canfield has led the Georgia Bar, Media & Judiciary Conference for more than three decades. The annual conference centers on issues at the intersection of the First Amendment, journalism and the courts; its sessions explore and explain our times. He also has worked with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press on initiatives such as a state-by-state guide to open government.

Canfield was inducted into the National Freedom of Information Coalition’s Open Government Hall of Fame on Oct. 4.