On May 2, the civil and human rights community will honor consumer advocate Martin Eakes with its highest honor, the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award, for his impassioned work as a champion of economic empowerment for women, low-income, rural and minority communities.
Throughout his career, Eakes has amplified the voices of marginalized, underserved communities and has worked to ensure that all Americans have equal access to the American Dream. He is the co-founder and CEO of Self-Help, a cluster of five national nonprofits founded in 1980 that provide consumer financial services, technical support, and advocacy for those left out of the economic mainstream. Between the organization’s founding and December 31, 2011, Self-Help has invested more than $6 billion in loan financing to low-income, minority, female and rural borrowers.
As CEO of Self-Help’s Center for Responsible Lending, Eakes has been at the forefront of the fight against predatory lending practices and is highly regarded as a leading national advocate for fair lending practices and sound economic policy. CRL’s December 2006 report “Losing Ground: Foreclosures in the Subprime Market and Their Cost to Homeowners” – a comprehensive review of the subprime mortgage market boom of the early 21st century – issued a dire warning about trouble in the housing market long before the 2008 financial crisis, and predicted the devastating impact the collapse would have on low-income and minority communities.
Eakes is a native North Carolinian who holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and an M.P.P. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. In addition, he serves on the Ford Foundation Board of Trustees, the Bank of America National Community Advisory Council and the Guilford College Board of Trustees.
Visit our Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner page for more information on tickets, sponsorship, and the honorees.