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2014 HCR Awards Categories & Nomination Forms

This is your invitation to participate in the 47th Annual NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards Dinner. You are invited to help us —

Don’t just attend the dinner. Get involved by nominating someone, an affiliate or an organization for an award. We are looking for individuals, including colleagues, or groups, including affiliates, that have advanced the cause of civil rights. We honor civil rights heroes because the cause endures, the struggle goes on and hope still lives. Download the general nomination form and the appropriate award category form to begin the nomination process.



César Chávez Acción y Compromiso Human and Civil Rights Award

César Chávez (1927-1993), revered in the labor and civil rights movements, inspired thousands of farm workers to unionize for dignity and attain contracts that would give them livable wages and working conditions. Against great odds, he established the United Farm Workers of America and used the strike (la huelga), the boycott, and fasting to gain better life for oppressed workers. Although he initially organized Mexican American workers in the Southwest, Chávez later expanded the movement to involve other ethnic groups.

NEA presents the César Chávez Acción y Compromiso Human and Civil Rights Award to a nominee who follows in the exemplary footsteps of César Chávez in philosophy, work, and leadership. (download nomination form)


Ellison S. Onizuka Memorial Award

Ellison S. Onizuka (1946-1986) was a Japanese American aerospace engineer. The first Asian/Pacific Islander chosen by NASA for the astronaut program,Onizuka served as a mission specialist on the space shuttle Challenger, which exploded on January 28, 1986, killing all aboard. Onizuka credited Hawaii’s public schools for steering him toward a career as an astronaut, and he often visited those schools to encourage students to set goals and work hard to achieve them.

NEA presents the Ellison S. Onizuka Memorial Award to a nominee whose activities in Asian and Pacific Islander affairs significantly impact education and the achievement of equal opportunity for Asians and Pacific Islanders. (download nomination form)


George I. Sánchez Memorial Award

George I. Sánchez (1906-1972) was an educator, historian, and scholar in the United States, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela. He devoted 50 years of his life to the education of Mexican, Navajo, and Black children and is known as the "father of the movement for quality education for Mexican Americans."

NEA presents the George I. Sánchez Memorial Award to a nominee whose activities in Hispanic affairs significantly impact education and the achievement of equal opportunity for Hispanics. (download nomination form)


H. Councill Trenholm Memorial Award

Harper Councill Trenholm (1900-1963) served for 21 years as executive secretary of the American Teachers Association (ATA). One of the country’s most outstanding Black educators, he helped build ATA’s numbers and strength and worked for the merger of ATA and NEA.

NEA presents two H. Councill Trenholm Memorial Awards, one to a Black educator and one to a non-Black educator. (download nomination form)


Leo Reano Memorial Award

Leo Reano (1922-1971) was a teacher, artist, and interpreter. A member of the Santo Domingo Indian Pueblo, Reano served on the All Indian Pueblo Council andthe NEA Council on Human Relations. He dedicated his life to securing educational opportunities for American Indian/Alaska Native children.

NEA presents the Leo Reano Memorial Award to a nominee whose activities in American Indian/Alaska Native affairs significantly impact education and the achievement of equal opportunity for American Indians/Alaska Natives. (download nomination form)


Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Award

Martin Luther King, Jr., (1929-1968) led the American civil rights movement that broke the shackles of segregation. By applying what is now known as the Kingian method of nonviolence, he stirred the conscience of the nation, helped enact civil rights laws, and opened pathways of hope to Americans of all races and groups.

NEA presents the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Award to a nominee who emulates Dr. King in leadership and philosophy. (download nomination form)


Mary Hatwood Futrell Award

Mary Hatwood Futrell increased national awareness of the Equal Rights Amendment during her presidency of ERAmerica. She also made NEA a leading champion of women’s rights during her three terms as NEA president. During her presidency of Education International and deanship at George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development, she also advanced the cause of women’s rights.

NEA presents the Mary Hatwood Futrell Award to a nominee whose activities in women’s rights significantly impact education and the achievement of equal opportunity for women and girls. (download nomination form)


Reg Weaver Human and Civil Rights Award

As a classroom teacher for more than 30 years, Reg Weaver saw the toll poverty takes on students. He saw students without coats in the dead of winter; students who showed up for school hungry; students without basic school supplies, not even a pencil. He saw poverty's negative impact on student learning. What’s more, Reg Weaver was famous for dipping into his own pocket to buy a student a coat, a meal, or supplies. And when Reg Weaver became President of the Illinois Education Association-NEA, and then President of NEA, he kept the spotlight on the plight of poor students.

NEA presents the Reg Weaver Human and Civil Rights Award to a nominee whose activities around closing the poverty gaps for children in America and around the world have made a significant impact in helping poor students and eliminating poverty. (download nomination form)

Rosa Parks Memorial Award

Rosa Parks (1913-2005) sat down so that others could stand up. By refusing to give up her seat that fateful December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks sets in motion a series of events that caused the racist system of legalized segregation to collapse. It was a dangerous thing she did that day, but not a random act. Rosa Parks had been a NAACP activist for years.

NEA presents the Rosa Parks Memorial Award to inspire others to champion the cause of human and civil rights. (download nomination form)


Rosena J. Willis Memorial Award (Local Affiliate)

Rosena J. Willis (1926-1970) was one of the original displaced Black teachers after her school district closed rather than desegregate its public schools. Joining the NEA staff, she worked to implement the American Teachers Association merger with NEA at the state level. In addition, she helped NEA state and local affiliates develop programs to ensure the inclusion of ethnic and racial minority members in the work and leadership of the association.

NEA presents two Rosena J. Willis Memorial Awards to NEA affiliates that have the most effective or improved human and civil rights programs, work that is considered above and beyond the call of duty. The state affiliate award is presented in odd-numbered years, and the local affiliate award in even-numbered years. (download nomination form)

SuAnne Big Crow Memorial Award

SuAnne Big Crow (1974-1992) was an American Indian student from Pine Ridge, South Dakota. An outstanding athletes, student leader, and role model, she spent her school years working to give her peers on the reservation a greater sense of self-worth and dignity. Big Crow died in an automobile accident at the age of 17.

NEA presents the SuAnne Big Crow Memorial Ward to a K-12 student(s), under the age of 20, whose achievements in schools have helped enhance students' sense of worth and dignity. (download nomination form)


Virginia Uribe Award for Creative Leadership in Human Rights

Virginia Uribe was a high school teacher and counselor and a leader in the movement to improve the lives of gay and lesbian youth. In 1984, she founded California’s Project 10, the first school-based dropout prevention program for students facing sexual orientation discrimination and harassment.

NEA presents the Virginia Uribe Award for Creative Leadership in Human Rights to a nominee whose activities in human rights significantly impact education and the achievement of equal opportunity for those facing discrimination due to their sexual orientation. (download nomination form)


All nominations must be postmarked by Tuesday, December 10, 2013.


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Tips for Completing an HCR Award Nomination Form