WASHINGTON, D.C. — Former First Lady Michelle Obama and the Know Your Rights Campaign, founded by professional quarterback and racial and social justice advocate Colin Kaepernick, are among the dozen recipients of the prestigious National Education Association Human and Civil Rights Awards to be awarded on July 1 in Minneapolis, Minn.

The theme of the awards ceremony is “Many Dreams, One Voice.” The awards also will feature celebrity emcee, political commentator and social justice advocate Angela Rye and entertainer Chaka Khan.

The merger of the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Teachers Association (ATA) in 1966 produced the annual NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards. ATA, which represented Black teachers in segregated schools, traditionally honored leaders in the justice and civil rights movement annually. Since the merger, NEA has recognized and honored educators, individuals, community partners, and organizations that are advancing the mantle for human and civil rights.

Organizers said that in addition to recognizing Obama and Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Campaign, NEA will recognize the following individuals and organizations for continuing the quest for human and civil rights in America: Dr. Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture; Vermont-based Muslim Girls Making Change; North Carolina LGBTQ rights advocate Chris Sgro; Utah advocate to end homelessness Michael Harman; North Carolina educator Rodney Ellis, Sr.; The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance; Ohio English teacher Lynnette Jimenez; California educator Dr. Cecil Canton; Illinois community activist Jitu Brown; and The Milwaukee Teachers Education Association.

info: nea.org.

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Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Kyle Toby, from Anchorage, Alaska, cut a cake on the mess decks of the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) during an LGBTQ Pride Month celebration. Chancellorsville is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Photo Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sarah Myers/Released

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.