The NAACP Chairman’s Award is bestowed in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service. Past honorees include Attorney General of the United States, Eric H. Holder, Jr., United States Navy Vice Admiral Michelle Howard, Radio One Founder and Chairperson Cathy Hughes, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin,Tyler Perry, Former Vice President Al Gore and Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai, Aretha Franklin, Bono, then-SenatorBarack Obama, The Dave Matthews Band, Danny Glover, and Forest Whitaker.
This year’s winners are:
Time magazine has identified Jamal Harrison Bryant as one of the key figures of this hour to move the generation forward. His training and tutelage emanated from his time serving as National Youth and College Director of the NAACP where he organized a national “Stop The Violence Start the Love” campaign to counter the violence that claimed the lives of thousands of young African Americans. As pastor of 10,000 millennials, he has fused spirituality with social responsibility registering more voters than any church in the state of Maryland. His on the ground social justice commentary and leadership were exhibited during the uprisings in Baltimore in the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray, and Trayvon Martin.
Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Ill., Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III is a preacher, activist, author and culture critic; with an eye toward justice and equality, as evidenced through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Dr. Moss regularly provides biblical context and theological support to a myriad of groups and causes. This “new millennial” preacher is committed to preaching prophetically that the message of love and justice are inseparable companions. As part of his community engagement through Trinity United Church of Christ, Dr. Moss led the team that came up with the “My Life Matters” curriculum; which includes the viral video “Get Home Safely: 10 Rules of Survival,” created in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death at the hands of Ferguson, Missouri police. He recently addressed the Congressional Black Caucus during its annual legislative conference prayer breakfast on “Accept Your Desert Assignment,” where he provided a religious framework for the Black Lives Matter movement. Dr. Moss often uses various types of music and media to reach multi-generational audiences.
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