The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner

On Wednesday, May 17, 2017, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 social justice organizations, will come together for the 41st annual Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner at the Washington Hilton.


The Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award is the social justice community’s highest honor, awarded to outstanding individuals who, “through selfless and devoted service in the cause of equality,” best exemplify the spirit of Hubert H. Humphrey, U.S. vice president, senator and outspoken civil rights pioneer.


Each spring the award is bestowed at the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner. Past recipients include President William Clinton; Senator Patrick Leahy; Senator Tom Harkin; Representative John Lewis; Representative Connie Morella; civil rights champion Dr. Dorothy Height; disability rights advocates Justin Dart, Jr., and Senator Tammy Duckworth; social justice leader Harry Belafonte; human rights advocate Danny Glover; labor leader Dolores Huerta; and fair lending and consumer advocate Martin Eakes, among others. The 2016 honorees were The Honorable Nancy Pelosi and Bryan A. Stevenson. 

The annual dinner is the year’s largest gathering of the civil and human rights communitynoted for bringing together members of both houses of Congress, officials from the Executive Branch, civil and human rights leaders, business leaders, educators, attorneys, and young people representing the next generation of civil and human rights advocates. More than 1,200 people attend the dinner annually. Known for its celebration of our nation’s diversity and commitment to equality, the event has been called “…the one dinner in Washington, D.C., where everyone has a seat at the table.”

Wade Henderson, who is stepping down as president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund, has led the nation’s social justice coalition since 1996 in forging consensus and developing strategy to advance major policy priorities regarding civil and human rights.

Under his guidance, The Leadership Conference steered successful campaigns to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act; pass the Help America Vote Act, the Fair Sentencing Act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the ADA Amendments Act, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. He played key roles in ensuring the confirmations of Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, Labor Secretary Tom Perez, and U.S. Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch.

Wade is the Joseph L. Rauh, Jr., Professor of Public Interest Law at the David A. Clarke School of Law, University of the District of Columbia. Prior to his role with The Leadership Conference, he was the Washington Bureau director of the NAACP, where he directed the organization’s government affairs and national legislative program, and the associate director of the Washington national office of the ACLU. A graduate of Howard University and the Rutgers University School of Law, he is a member of the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court and the District of Columbia.

During Wade’s tenure, the nation’s premier civil and human rights coalition has grown from 170 to more than 200 member organizations, including the first Muslim and Sikh civil rights groups. He has greatly expanded the footprint of domestic civil and human rights organizations in the global discourse on social justice.

Through his life-long commitment to equality, Wade has made a profound impact on our nation’s journey toward an America as good as its ideals.

The 41st annual Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner on Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Washington Hilton
1919 Connecticut Avenue N.W. 
Washington, D.C.

The Education Fund Reception 5:00 p.m.
Humphrey Award Dinner 6:30 p.m.
Business Attire

For questions, please contact Mary Anne Walker at 202.263.2857

Hubert H. Humphrey

Hubert H. Humphrey

Hubert Humphrey's deep commitment and dedication to social justice are legendary. He devoted his life to public service in the cause of equality. Elected mayor of Minneapolis in 1945, he quickly ascended to the national political scene. Addressing racial discrimination and anti-Semitism in Minneapolis in 1948, he was responsible for the city enacting the nation's first municipal fair employment legislation. That same year, amid fierce debate on the direction of civil rights, he delivered a fiery speech at the Democratic National Convention and spurred the Democratic Party to add a civil rights plank to their platform. From 1949-1964, he served from Minnesota as one of the nation's most distinguished U.S. senators and was pivotal in the enactment of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, calling its passage "one of the landmarks of my life." Elected vice president of the United States in 1964, Hubert Humphrey continued his selfless advocacy for equality in a free, plural and democratic society. In 1971, Humphrey resumed his senatorial career. In 1974, he introduced the ambitious Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment and National Growth bill, the first attempt at full employment legislation, which eventually passed after his death in 1978. This final legislative achievement stood as a symbol of Humphrey's undying commitment to "the humanitarian goals of the New Deal.

As a testament to his exemplary leadership on civil and human rights, the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award was established by The Leadership Conference in 1977.

More about Hubert H. Humphrey

Previous Honorees & Dinner Highlights

2016 Dinner
         The Honorable Nancy Pelosi and Bryan A. Stevenson
2015 Dinner
         The Honorable Eric Holder, Laura Murphy, and Senator Bob Dole
2014 Dinner
         Senator Tom Harkin, Randi Weingarten and Eliseo Medina
2013 Dinner
         Barbara Arnwine and Martin Eakes
2012 Dinner
         Rep. Barney Frank and Janet Murguía
2011 Dinner
         Richard Trumka, Shirley Sherrod, and Joe Solmonese
2010 Dinner
Sen. Patrick Leahy, Karen Narasaki, Gara LaMarche, and Harry Belafonte
2009 Dinner
Sheila Bair and Van Jones
2008 Dinner
The Honorable John Conyers, Jr., Patricia Rouse, and Soledad O'Brien
2007 Dinner
William J. Clinton, Dr. John Hope Franklin, and L. Tammy Duckworth
2006 Dinner
The Film "Crash" and Monica Lozano
2005 Dinner
Julian Bond, Tom Daschle, and Ginny Thornburgh
2004 Dinner
Tom Joyner, Gerald McEntee, and the Honorable Connie Morella
2003 Dinner
The Honorable John Lewis, Northwestern University's Medill Innocence Project, The Center on Wrongful Convictions, and the Sesame Workshop
2002 Dinner
Danny Glover, Elizabeth Birch, and David Saperstein
2001 Dinner
Maya Lin, Franklin D. Raines, and William L. Taylor
2000 Dinner
Vernon E. Jordan Jr., Judith L. Lichtman, Wilma Mankiller, Edward James Olmos, and John J. Sweeney
1999 Dinner
Ruby Dee & Ossie Davis, Governor Gary Locke, and Jeannie VanVelkinburgh
1998 Dinner
Debbie Allen, the Honorable Bob Lanier, and Steven Spielberg
1997 Dinner
Tipper Gore and Dolores Huerta
1996 Dinner
Myrlie Evers-Williams, the Honorable Kweisi Mfume, , and the Honorable Norman Y. Mineta
1995 Dinner
Ralph G. Neas Jr.
1994 Dinner
The Honorable Henry Cisneros, the Honorable Hamilton Fish Jr., and Elaine R. Jones
1993 Dinner
Justin Dart Jr., Dr. Dorothy I. Height, and Raul Yzaguirre
1992 Dinner
Benjamin L. Hooks, Patrisha A. Wright, and Kenneth Young
1991 Dinner
William T. Coleman Jr., Antonia Hernandez, and Dick Warden
1990 Dinner
The Honorable Augustus Hawkins
1989 Dinner
The Honorable Barbara Jordan, and the Honorable Lowell P. Weicker Jr.
1988 Dinner
Ellen Goodman and the Honorable Edward M. Kennedy
1987 Dinner
Herbert L. Block, James Farmer, and Wiley Branton
1986 Dinner
Dr. Mary Frances Berry, the Honorable Charles McC. Mathias Jr., and the Honorable Parren Mitchell
1985 Dinner
Arnold Aronson, Marian Wright Edelman, J.C. Turner, and Willie Velasquez
1984 Dinner
Joseph L. Rauh Jr.
1983 Dinner
Douglas Fraser and Rosina Tucker
1982 Dinner
The Honorable Don Edwards and Arthur S. Flemming
1981 Dinner
AFL-CIO and Lane Kirkland
1980 Dinner
George Meany and Clarence M. Mitchell Jr.
1979 Dinner
Andrew Biemiller and the Rev. Msgr. George Higgins
1978 Dinner
The Honorable Edward W. Brooke, and the Honorable Peter Rodino
1977 Dinner
The Honorable Philip Hart

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