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Dr. Charles M. Christian - Carter G. Woodson Memorial Award

Baltimore Professor To Receive NEA Human and Civil Rights Award


WASHINGTON - July 02, 2008 -

Dr. Charles M. Christian, distinguished professor at Coppin State University in Baltimore, Md., has been selected to receive the National Education Association's Carter G. Woodson Memorial Award at the Association's 42nd annual Human and Civil Rights Awards Dinner on July 2, 2008, in Washington, D.C.

The award is presented to an individual, NEA affiliate or institution whose activities in Black affairs significantly impact education and the achievement of equal opportunity.

Dr. Christian's Black Saga Competition, based on his encyclopedic book, Black Saga: The African American Experience, has effectively taught thousands of elementary and middle school students about African American history. Developed, hosted and funded by Dr. Christian, the competition increasingly engages the minds and hearts of not only Black students, but of all learners.

"Dr. Christian's Black Saga Competition recognizes the many contributions Blacks have given to our history and culture," said NEA President Reg Weaver. "The competition gives all students a broader understanding of American history and the vital role Blacks have played in shaping it."

During the past 16 years, over 50,000 young people in more than 160 schools in the state have learned significant details about events, people, and places key to African American history by participating in the Black Saga competition.

Dr. Christian holds a Ph.D. in Social/Urban Geography from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He taught from 1973 to 2005 at the University of Maryland, College Park, and was appointed to his post at Coppin State University in August 2005.

His significant contribution to education in Black history and culture is widely acclaimed, and his honors include the University of Maryland's Award for Outstanding Contribution to Schools (1994), the Program of Excellence Award from the Maryland Council of Social Studies (1995), and the Education Award from the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus (1997).

Carter G. Woodson, a scholar and historian, founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, published books and journals about Black history, and initiated what is now Black History Month. He is revered as the "Father of Black History." NEA jointly presents the Carter G. Woodson Memorial Award with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. 

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

Contact: Celeste Fernandez  (202) 822-7823