The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

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The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Spotlight on Humphrey Nominee: Gara LaMarche

April 16, 2010 - Posted by Tyler Lewis

Gara LaMarche

On May 12, the civil rights community will honor Gara LaMarche, president and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies, with its highest honor, the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award.  He will be honored for having charted a course for the philanthropic community to address social and economic justice here in the U.S. and throughout the world.

LaMarche has a long history of advocating for social justice.  He worked for the ACLU for more than a decade in a variety of positions, including associate director of the ACLU's New York branch and executive director of the ACLU's Texas branch.  He was also associate director of Human Rights Watch, one of the world's leading organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights, and he directed its Free Expression Project from 1990 to 1996.

Prior to his current role at Atlantic Philanthropies, LaMarche was the vice president and director of U.S. programs at the Open Society Institute, where he championed a groundbreaking new model of philanthropy bridging the conversation on civil rights protections and human rights.

He has been a steadfast proponent of racial equity in society at large and within the corridors of the social justice community. His vision for organizational structure has assisted the nonprofit community in building systems that can ensure progress in advancing equality.

In a 2008 speech entitled "Taking Account of Race: A Philanthropic Imperative", LaMarche discussed the critical role philanthrophy plays in the fight for civil and human rights.  "One of the ways I try to keep myself honest in philanthropy, a field in which it is much too easy to become a social engineer, losing sight of the real challenges of real people, is to remind myself and our staff that every issue we deal with is one we have to navigate personally as well as professionally," he said.

Visit our Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner page for more information on tickets, sponsorship, and the honorees.  

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