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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.


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.

The 2022 Human and Civil Rights Awards while be hosted as a formal and elegant black tie dinner banquet. The health and safety of all of our guests, honorees and participants remains the utmost priority for the organization. Should program changes be required to maintain health and safety, those program changes will be communicated early to all nominators, nominees, award winners and participating guests.

2022 NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards Nomination Season

IMPORTANT: We recommend reviewing the 2022 NEA HCR Awards Nomination Form for full information and guidance before completing the online form.

Final nominations applications will be due Monday, January 17, 2022.

HCR Awards Nomination Flyer Update

The 2021 HCR Awards gala has concluded.

Visit to learn more about the event, read about the winners, and watch a recap of the big night!

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

Visit to find ways you can take action and fight for racial, social, and economic justice in public education.
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.