International Civil Rights Center & Museum

2022 Gala Honorees

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The Rev. James M. Lawson

Alston-Jones International
Civil & Human Rights Award

Rev. James M. Lawson is a world renowned Preacher, Educator, and Activist. At the peak of the Jim Crow Era South, Reverend Lawson trained tens of thousands of nonviolent activists - a whole new generation of protestors. His extensive knowledge of the non-violent protesting strategies in India, where he was teaching, helped him spearhead a national sit-in movement; which started in Greensboro, NC by the A&T Four. Thank you Reverend Lawson.

The Honorable Kamala D. Harris

Trailblazer Award

Kamala D. Harris is the Vice President of the United States of America. She was elected Vice President after a lifetime of public service, having been elected District Attorney of San Francisco, California Attorney General, and United States Senator. Vice President Harris was born in Oakland, California to parents who emigrated from India and Jamaica. She graduated from Howard University and the University of California, Hastings College of Law.

Attorney Ben Crump

Unsung Hero Award

Ben Crump has received nationwide recognition for his service in pursuit of civil rights and justice for minorities. He has been included on prestigious lists like The National Trial Lawyers’ Top 100 Lawyers and Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 Most Influential African Americans. Mr. Crump has also received the National Urban League’s Whitney Young Award, the NAACP Thurgood Marshall Award, and the SCLC’s Martin Luther King Servant Leader Award.

Bakari Sellers

Keeper of the Flame Award

Bakari Sellers made history by defeating a 26-year incumbent State Representative, becoming the youngest member of the SC State Legislature, at only 22 years old, and the youngest African-American elected official in the country. Considered a rising star in the Democratic Party, as a regular CNN contributor, Mr. Sellers has become a leading voice for his generation.

Rabbi Fred Guttman

Lifetime Community Service Award

Rabbi Fred Guttman has received numerous awards and honors in the fields of social justice and rabbinical leadership. In 2015, he organized the National Jewish commemoration of the Bloody Sunday March in Selma, Alabama. Rabbi Guttman was the first and only rabbi ever to have been the keynote Speaker at the Religious Emphasis Day Luncheon at the 70th North Carolina NAACP Convention. During the Covid Pandemic, Rabbi Guttman spearheaded different programs on Zoom which brought together the North Carolina Reform Jewish community. 

The Honorable Marilyn Mackel

Sit-In Participant Award

The Honorable Marilyn Mackel has been recognized nationally for her work in social justice and human equality. A graduate of Bennett College in Greensboro, NC, Mackel would earn her law degree from Georgetown University in 1976 and serve as a commissioner of the Juvenile Court of Los Angeles County. Mackel's work has been published in the Black Law Journal, the African American Almanac, and the University of West Los Angeles Law Review.