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NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards Program

NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards Program


The annual NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards is inextricably linked to the 1966 merger of the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Teachers Association (ATA). ATA, which represented Black teachers in segregated schools in the South, traditionally honored leaders in the justice and civil rights movement at an annual awards dinner. This inspirational program was necessary to acknowledge progress in the movement towards justice nationwide, and to uplift positive impacts on the education of students of color. As a new merged Association, the NEA has proudly held to this tradition each year since 1967, celebrating leaders in racial justice, social justice, human and civil rights.

Formerly hosted as a black-tie awards dinner, the format changed to an elegant Awards show ceremony, extending the program to a larger audience of educators and community.

**PLEASE NOTE: In these unique and challenging times, while our nation and our organization responds to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the United States, HCR Awards ticket sales will be postponed until a later date when we have determined the feasibility and safety of hosting the annual awards gala.  Until then, please continue to the hold the date for the 2020 NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards, Thursday, July 2nd 2020. Should you have any questions related to the Awards ceremony, please email


2019 Human & Civil Rights Award Winners


Award Category


Award Recipient

Applegate-Dorros Award   No Nominations Submitted

Carter G. Woodson Award  

Charles Prickett - Illinois

Bio     Video

César Chávez Acción y Compromiso Human and Civil Rights Award  

Baxter Leach and the Surviving Members of the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike - Tennessee

Bio     Video

Ellison S. Onizuka Memorial Award  

Eddy Zheng - California

Bio     Video

George I. Sánchez Memorial Award  

Luanelly Iglesias - Connecticut

Bio     Video

H. Councill Trenholm Award (Non-Black)  

Dolores McCracken (posthumously) - Pennsylvania

Bio     Video

Leo Reano Memorial Award  

Rick and Lorie Erickson - Wisconsin

Bio    Video

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Award  

Richard Stolz/One America With Justice For All - Washington

Bio     Video

Mary Hatwood Futrell Award  

Mia Williams - Washington

Bio     Video

Reg Weaver Human and Civil Rights Award  

Leila Kubesch - Ohio

Bio     Video

Rosena J. Willis Memorial Award (State Affiliate)  

Missouri National Education Association

Bio     Video

Virginia Uribe Award for Creative Leadership in Human Rights


GSAFE (Brian Juchems) - Wisconsin

Bio     Video

President’s Award


Timothy Cullen - Wisconsin 

Bio     Video