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Huber H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner

May 17, 2011
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LCCHR logo

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the annual Huber H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner here in Washington, DC. Organized by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, this annual event honors individuals who have been shining examples of the power to build coalitions in support of advancing civil and human rights in the United States. This year’s honorees were:

  • Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO
  • Shirley Sherrod, a lifelong advocate for economic justice, racial equality, and African-American farmers
  • Joe Solomonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign

Each of these individuals has contributed to the expansion of human rights in the United States.

The evening also included recognition of Bill Taylor and Bayard Rustin. Taylor, a civil rights pioneer, was an invaluable member of the Leadership Conference and worked for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund as well as for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. To honor him, the Leadership Conference has established the Bill Taylor Education Fellowship. Rustin was a civil rights organizer and leader and is an icon for the African-American LGBT Community. He worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and served as deputy director of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Attendees to the dinner last night received a complimentary copy of the DVD documentary Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin.

I am honored that this year USICD has joined the Leadership Conference as a member organization and I extend special appreciation to Mr. Wade Henderson, President and CEO—and friend to the disability community. With his ongoing support, advancing the cause of disability rights has been and continues to be crucially integrated with the broader human and civil rights movement in the United States. As a disability rights advocate, I have learned so much from allies in diverse human rights communities. By moving forward together in building a culture of human rights in the United States, we will be breaking down barriers and advancing opportunity for all people.

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