The Leadership Conference held its 34th annual Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner in the Hilton Washington's International Ballroom in Washington, D.C.
This year's dinner celebrated the 60th anniversary of The Leadership Conference and its commitment to leading the civil and human rights movement in the 21st century, as embodied by the recent decision to include the term "human rights" in its name.
The four honorees – Sen. Patrick Leahy, civil rights leader Karen Narasaki, foundation head Gara LaMarche, and entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte – were introduced by Rep. John Lewis, D. Ga.; civil rights activist Maria Echaveste; AARP CEO Barry Rand; and Rep. John Conyers, D. Mich., respectively. The honorees spoke eloquently of their commitment to the fight for civil and human rights for all.
There was also a special tribute to civil rights icon Dr. Dorothy I. Height, who passed away a few weeks ago. Dr. Height was the chair of The Leadership Conference for more than 15 years and was also the honorary chair of the dinner committee for nearly a decade.
"[F]or all the challenges that we face – like the Elena Kagan confirmation battle coming this summer – these are not the worst of times but are, in many ways, the best of times to be an American," said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference, during his remarks. "As we watched the video about Dr. Height's life and legacy, I could not help but be grateful that she lived long enough to have seen, and indeed to have advised, a president whose background bears witness to the success of the struggles that she led. And I truly believe that the leaders whom we lost over the last year – Dr. Height, Dr. Benjamin Hooks, Senators Kennedy and Matthias, Wilma Mankiller, and so many others – would all be proud of the new America that they did so much to build."
civilrights.org - Posted by Tyler Lewis