Rising Strong for 55 years Unity Through Joy, Justice, and Excellence
NEA’s tradition of honoring human and civil rights leaders is steeped in history. A tradition that began with the American Teachers Association.
The 2023 NEA HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS AWARDS Nomination Cycle has begun!
Do your part to identify, uplift and nominate exemplary individuals, organizations, and affiliates to honor at the 2023 NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards!
Deadline for online submission of your nomination form is Monday, February 20, 2023 at 11:59 pm PST.
Get ready to submit your nomination by downloading the 2023 Nomination Application.
The 2023 NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards Dinner Brochure can also assist nominators in completing the online nomination application, where it lists awards category requirements for each category.
For additional information about the NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards or questions, please view this website or email [email protected].
Biographies of the 2022 HCR award winners are available below.
The 2023 HCR Award Categories featured this year for nominations are:
- Applegate-Dorros Peace and International Understanding Award
- Carter G. Woodson Memorial Award
- César Chávez Acción y Compromiso Human and Civil Rights Award
- Ellison S. Onizuka Memorial Award
- George I. Sánchez Memorial Award
- H. Councill Trenholm Memorial Award (Non-Black)
- Wilma Mankiller Memorial Award
- Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Award
- Mary Hatwood Futrell Human and Civil Rights Award
- Reg Weaver Human and Civil Rights Award
- Rosena J. Willis Memorial Award (State Affiliate Award)
- Virginia Uribe Award for Creative Leadership in Human Rights
Learn more about this year's winners!
Adriana Abundis - George I. Sánchez Memorial Award
Adriana Abundis is a high school dual-language teacher in San Antonio, Texas.
David J. O’Connor - Leo Reano Memorial Award
A member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Ojibwe) in northern Wisconsin, O’Connor diligently promotes the education and empowerment of all students and educators throughout Wisconsin in his role as American Indian Studies Consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
Empowering Pacific Islander Communities - Ellison S. Onizuka Memorial Award
A pro-Black, pro-Indigenous, and anti-racist national organization established in 2009 and based in Los Angeles, California, EPIC advances social justice through culture-centered advocacy, leadership development, and research.
Generation Justice/What Happened on First Street - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Award
Organized by youth organizers Mahllie Beck and Drake Wilson of Generation Justice, non-violent protests were initiated in Snohomish, Washington to support Black Lives, law enforcement reform, and educational justice. Wilson and Caroline Yip documented the peaceful protest and those who attempted to hijack it in their film What Happened on First Street.
Jorge González - NEA President’s Award
Jorge González was a high school Spanish teacher, coach, diversity and inclusion coordinator, husband, father, and advocate for students.
OutNebraska - Virginia Uribe Memorial Award for Creative Leadership in Human Rights
A statewide advocacy, lobbying, and community organization, OutNebraska strives to improve the quality of life for LGBTQ+ Nebraskans.
Piñeros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste - César Chávez Acción y Compromiso Human and Civil Rights Award
Born out of César Chávez’s nonviolent labor movement of the 1980s, Piñeros and Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN) embodies his philosophy and continues to organize, advocate, and engage in nonviolent activism.
Project CURE - Rosa Parks Memorial Award
What started as a Brooklyn-based collective after the Crown Heights race riots in 1991 has become a worldwide effort to “Increase the Peace!”
Sarah “Mili” Milianta-Laffin - Mary Hatwood Futrell Human and Civil Rights Award
Sarah “Mili” Milianta-Laffin's tireless work for gender equity in STEM and health started at her school, but she has influenced positive change for these issues across Hawai’i and nationwide.
Turquoise LeJeune Parker - Reg Weaver Human and Civil Rights Award
Starting as a small project to help feed the students in Mrs. Parker’s class in 2015, the Bull City Foodraiser today serves over 5,000 students in Durham Public Schools who receive free or reduced-price lunch.
United Faculty of Florida - Rosena J. Willis Memorial Award (Local)
United Faculty of Florida (UFF) was born out of the fight to protect academic freedom, defend civil liberties, and end racial discrimination at the University of Florida (UF).
About the Awards
NEA’s annual tradition of honoring human and civil rights champions is rooted and grounded in the historical legacy of the NEA-ATA merger.
Stay Informed We'll come to you
We're here to help you succeed in your career, advocate for public school students, and stay up to date on the latest education news. Sign up to stay informed