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Human & Civil Rights Awards Program

NEA’s tradition of honoring human and civil rights leaders is steeped in history. A tradition that began with the American Teachers Association.
three dancers at night NEA
The annual awards ceremony reminds members about NEA’s multicultural roots and to reinforce NEA’s crusade for human and civil rights.

2021 NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards Nominations

Nominations for the 2021 NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards will be accepted starting Friday, October 9, 2020

GET INVOLVED by identifying and nominating exemplary individuals, organizations and affiliates to honor at the 2021 NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards!

All nominations and supporting materials must be submitted via the online application.

Click here to submit a Nomination for the 2021 NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards

Information on each award category and details on the Nomination Application can be read in the 2021 HCR Awards Nomination Brochure.

We highly recommend that you print and review the downloadable Microsoft Word version of the Nomination Application before completing the final submission online. The electronic, online form will time out after 60 minutes and will not save any unfinished application details. Therefore, Nominators are encouraged to have their Nomination Application completed in advance via the Microsoft Word version, with all of their necessary information and documents collected, to simply copy and paste their responses into the electronic form easily.

Deadline for online submission of your online nomination form:

Friday, January 8, 2021, at 5:00 pm EST

**Please note that selected Nominees (award winners) and their Nominators will be notified in March of 2021. Nominees that were not selected for an award will not be notified directly, however their Nominators will be notified during the same timeframe.

HCR Awards History

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.

Take part in the 2021 Awards program by nominating an educator, individual, organization or affiliate for the 2020 HCR Awards! Nomination materials will be available on this site as of Friday, October 9th, 2020.

Final nominations applications will be due Friday, January 8, 2021, at 5:00 pm EST.

Kim Anderson
If we don’t achieve racial justice in our schools, we cannot expect to achieve it in our society. It begins with us.
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Education Justice

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National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.