Washington, D.C. – The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights announced today that it will honor Congressman Barney Frank and National Council of La Raza President Janet Murguía with the civil and human rights movement’s highest honor, the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award. The recipients will be honored on May 16, 2012, at the nation’s largest gathering of the civil and human rights community, the 36th Annual Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner.
The Humphrey Award is presented annually to outstanding individuals who best exemplify Senator Humphrey’s selfless and devoted service in the cause of equality – an honor roll that, over the years, has included President William Clinton; Congressman John Lewis; civil rights champion Dr. Dorothy Height; disability advocate Tammy Duckworth; and labor leader Dolores Huerta, among others.
“With a political climate steeped in wedge politics and efforts to divide our nation rather than celebrate our rich diversity, all of us who cherish equality and equal opportunity have been energized by these strong voices of inclusion and champions of social justice,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference. “In the spirit of our award’s namesake, our honorees have answered Senator Humphrey’s exhortation to embrace civil rights and to ‘walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights.’”
“For more than three decades in Congress, Barney Frank has been a champion to every community in our diverse coalition,” Henderson said. “On so many issues, from immigration reform, to the protection of civil liberties, to the expansion of fair housing, he has mirrored the values and mission that are at the heart of The Leadership Conference. Congressman Frank’s work to advance the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans is legendary. But he was also instrumental in the passage of the Civil Liberties Act, providing redress for Japanese-Americans unjustly imprisoned during World War II. As chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services, he advanced the most important and badly-needed overhaul of consumer protection and financial regulatory law in decades. We honor him not only for the law that bears his name, but for a lifetime of tireless effort – zealous pragmatism, as he calls it – to eradicate discrimination, promote affordable housing, and drive unscrupulous lenders out of the marketplace.”
“Janet Murguía has been a steadfast leader in the civil and human rights movement of the 21st century,” Henderson said. “In her many leadership roles — as a strategist and legal advisor to President Clinton, in the nation’s board rooms, in the halls of higher education, as an executive committee member at The Leadership Conference, and in her present role as president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza — she has been held in the highest regard as a voice for equality and equal opportunity. Through her role at NCLR, representing the nation’s 50 million Hispanics, she has amplified the voice of Latino Americans in The Leadership Conference’s diversity-rich dialogue, as well as in the public arena, emphasizing every person’s right to equal opportunity and the American Dream.”
The Leadership Conference’s 36th annual Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner will be held at the Hilton Washington (1919 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.). Ticket and sponsorship information are available at www.civilrights.org/dinner/2012 or by calling (202) 263-2857.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.