WASHINGTON – The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights announced today it will honor Wade Henderson with the civil and human rights coalition’s highest honor, the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award. Henderson, who is stepping down after more than 20 years as president and CEO of The Leadership Conference and The Leadership Conference Education Fund, will receive the award on May 17 at the 41st annual Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner, the nation’s largest gathering of the civil and human rights community.
“Wade Henderson is the consummate coalition builder; we would not have come as far in advancing civil and human rights for all Americans without him,” said Judith L. Lichtman, chair of the Leadership Conference Board. “We are so pleased to recognize his more than 20 years of service, at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and beyond, with our community’s highest honor.”
“Along the often difficult path to social justice, Wade has been a fearless and steady guide, ever steadfast and determined in pointing the way toward a nation as good as its ideals,” said William Robinson, chair of the Education Fund Board.
During Henderson’s tenure, the nation’s premier civil and human rights coalition has grown from 180 to more than 210 member organizations, which has included the addition of the first Muslim and Sikh civil rights groups to the coalition. He has greatly expanded the footprint of domestic civil and human rights organizations in the global discourse on social justice.
Henderson, who also worked at the NAACP and the ACLU, has made a profound impact on our nation’s journey toward an America as good as its ideals. He will step down as president and CEO of The Leadership Conference and The Education Fund on May 31. His successor, Vanita Gupta, most recently headed the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division under President Barack Obama. She was previously the Deputy Legal Director and the Director of the Center for Justice at the American Civil Liberties Union, and began her legal career as an attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
The Leadership Conference’s 41st annual dinner will bring together a who’s who of the social justice community – national civil and human rights leaders, members of Congress, and business leaders. Past recipients of the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award include former President Bill Clinton, civil rights icon Julian Bond, lifelong social justice activist Shirley Sherrod, journalists Tom Joyner, Ellen Goodman, and Soledad O’Brien, as well as congressional leaders including the late Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bob Dole, Congressman John Lewis, Leader Nancy Pelosi, and government officials including former Attorney General Eric Holder and former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Sheila Bair.
The awards dinner will be held at the Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., on May 17. Ticket and sponsorship information are available at http://www.civilrights.org/dinner/ or by calling (202) 263-2857.
Media interested in covering the dinner should RSVP by May 15 to Inouye@civilrights.org.
About the 2017 Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Honoree:
Wade Henderson has been president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the nation’s premier civil and human rights coalition, and The Leadership Conference Education Fund since 1996. Under his stewardship, The Leadership Conference has become one of the nation’s most effective advocates for civil and human rights. Mr. Henderson is also 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, Mr. Henderson was the Washington Bureau director of the NAACP. Mr. Henderson is a graduate of Howard University and the Rutgers University School of Law. He is a member of the Bar in the District of Columbia and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Henderson has received countless awards and honors, including the prestigious Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights and the Charles Hamilton Houston Medallion of Merit from the Washington Bar Association.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations 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, visit www.civilrights.org.