6:00 PM – Reception | 7:00 PM – Awards Dinner
This year’s awardees are organizations that represent the conscience of our democracy by working vigilantly to insure full access and participation of all persons regardless of race, faith, ethnicity and identity. Our awardees are also individuals who are society’s change agents– literally and emblematically—shifting how we view and respond to equality and justice in our city, nation and the world.
Please join The National Center for Civil and Human Rights on May 18, 2017 at 6pm at The Georgia Aquarium to pay homage to these deserving organizations and individuals as we recommit to upholding the universal human rights for all.
For over 100 years, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has been unwavering in exposing and stopping the defamation of the Jewish people while securing justice and fair treatment for all people. ADL fights threats to our very democracy, including cyber hate, bullying, terrorism, hate crimes, coercion of religious minorities, bias in schools and in the criminal justice system and acts of contempt for anyone who is different. The ADL has a formidable track record in training law enforcement and students in its “no place for hate campaign”, while shaping and advocating for laws which insure the equal protection for all.
Phil Freelon is an award winning architect whose work is embedded in some of our country’s most iconic cultural centers and museums. He designed The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and led the architectural team of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. His other notable projects include the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture (Baltimore) , the Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco), and The Harvey Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture (Charlotte) . In 2012, President Barack Obama appointed Freelon to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Freelon has received more than 25 national, regional and local AIA honors.
Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is an academician, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder. Professor Gates has authored or co-authored twenty-one books and created seventeen documentary films. He has dedicated his career to uplifting and advancing understanding of contributions by Africans and African Americans throughout the diaspora in an unparalleled body of work in literary, film, and electronic media. In addition to his fifty-five Honorary Degrees, he has received recognition as a MacArthur’s Genius Fellow and Time Magazine’s top 25 Influential Americans and the first African American awarded the National Humanities Medal. Dr. Gates is currently the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University.
Founded by Thurgood Marshall in 1940, the NAACP Legal and Defense and Education Fund is the nation’s foremost civil and human rights legal team. It uses the scope and authority of our judicial system to eradicate the nation’s most egregious laws and practices of racial discrimination. Its victories led to the desegregation of public schools, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Voting Rights Act, and the Civil Rights Act. Further, it led the way to 21st century court decisions exposing systemic racial bias in death penalty sentencing and the elimination of capital punishment for juveniles, promoting fair hiring and promotional opportunities, insuring that voting rights for marginalized persons are not suppressed, and insuring admission policies in higher educational institutions provide equal access. In addition to its outstanding legal track record, the Fund has supported more than 4,000 students in their higher educational pursuits. Most of their scholarship recipients now have stellar careers in the law, business, medicine, education and public service.
Ted Turner exemplifies entrepreneurial acumen, exceptional business skills, visionary leadership, and unprecedented philanthropy. He changed the face of television broadcasting launching TBS Super Station and global news coverage through Cable News Network’s 24-hour news format.
Turner is chairman of the Turner Foundation, which supports efforts for improving air and water quality, developing sustainable energy future to protect the earth’s climate, environmental health, wildlife habitat protection, and practices and policies to curb population growth rates. He is also chairman of the United Nations Foundation, which promotes a more peaceful, prosperous and just world; co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, to reduce the global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; and the Turner Endangered Species Fund to conserve biodiversity by emphasizing restoration efforts of endangered or imperiled species on Turner ranches and in partnership with state and federal natural resources agencies. Through his company Turner Renewable Energy, he has partnered to build 10 solar facilities across the United States.