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Human and Civil Rights Awards Program

Human and Civil Rights Awards Program


2015 NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards Dinner

We are pleased to announce the

2015 NEA Human and Civil Rights Award Winners

  • Applegate-Dorros Peace & International Understanding Award — Seeds of Peace (NY) (Bio)
  • Carter G. Woodson Memorial Award — Quintard Taylor (WA) (Bio)
  • César Chávez Accion Y Compromiso Human & Civil Rights Award — Romero Theater Troupe (CO) (Bio)
  • Ellison S. Onizuka Memorial Award — Richard Lui (NY) (Bio)
  • H. Councill Trenholm Memorial Award (Non-Black) — Janet L. Monseur Durr (OH) (Bio)
  • George I. Sánchez Memorial Award — Elmo Padilla (NM) (Bio)
  • Leo Reano Memorial Award — Denise Juneau (MT) (Bio)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Award — Edith Savage-Jennings (NJ) (Bio)
  • Mary Hatwood Futrell Award — The Honorable Karla N. Smith (MD) (Bio)
  • Reg Weaver Human and Civil Rights Award — Estella Pyfrom (FL) (Bio)
  • Virginia Uribe Award for Creative Leadership in Human Rights — Brian Kitts “You Can Play” Project (CO)  (Bio)

Join musical luminary Ledisi Anibade Young in honoring this year’s pantheon of social justice heroes at the NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards. Ledisi’s appearance at the annual awards dinner is a fitting “sequel” to her stirring performance as Mahalia Jackson in the award-winning biopic Selma, the story of the historic civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery. Ledisi’s remarkable career has spanned from singing with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra at the age of eight to earning eight Grammy nominations, including a nod for Best New Artist. Considered one of the best singers of her generation, the award-winning artist’s evocative ballads speak to inner resilience and the power of encouragement as you reach for your dreams—qualities we celebrate in our HCR award winners.


Theme:  Justice for All:  Never Forget, Never Give Up

July 2, 2015

6:30 p.m. — Valencia Ballroom, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando FL
Tickets on sale April 1, 2015
Ticket cost:  $75.00 each; or a table of ten for $750.00 

Important Note:

Only tickets purchased through the online NEA HCR Awards Dinner Ticket Ordering System (link above), or through NEA Human and Civil Rights, will be available at the specified ticket distribution times and locations as specified in your confirmation letter.

If you are purchasing a group of tickets through the Ticket Ordering System, be sure to let your guests know that their tickets will be available through you, and that their individual tickets will not be available for pick up at the Awards Dinner Ticket distribution locations.

If you purchased your tickets through a State or Local Association or other individual, and not the NEA HCR Awards Dinner Ticket Ordering System, your tickets will be distributed by the coordinator or individual you purchased from and will not be available for pick up at the HCR Awards Dinner Ticket booth or will call desk at the dinner.

Be sure to secure your tickets prior to attending the HCR Awards Dinner on July 2. 

Every year, since 1967, NEA has honored human and civil rights heroes at a black-tie awards dinner. And every year, those heroes have inspired us.

This celebration is inextricably linked to NEA's 1966 merger with the American Teachers Association (ATA). ATA represented Black teachers in segregated schools, and for many years, it held a human and civil rights awards dinner. After the merger, NEA proudly carried on the tradition.

We honor our past and rededicate ourselves to the unfinished task of creating a just society. We owe it to the children and young people we educate. And we believe, as did Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., that people of conscience, acting together, can achieve "justice for all."