WASHINGTON INFORMER: The Greater Washington Urban League (GWUL) held its annual Courage Under Fire Awards on Monday, Oct. 24 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. The awards ceremony recognized courageous leaders in the Black community who fight for civil rights.
Our democracy is being challenged at every level. The federal courts have become partisan and grown apathetic or even hostile to civil rights. The Washington Post reports that 65% of Black Americans say it is a “bad time” to be a Black person in America. In contrast, an astounding 77% of Black Americans believe it is a great time to be white. These numbers attest to the pain and inequity in our nation.
The GWUL has fought for the right to a decent life and equitable representation for 84 years. The Courage Under Fire Awards celebrates victories in that fight, hard-won by social justice champions. Previous awardees include attorney Benjamin Crump, U.S. District Court judge nominee Jerry Blackwell, and renowned immunologist Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett.
This year’s event was hosted by the nationally acclaimed attorney and social critic, Michelle Denise Bernard. Bernard is a political and social justice journalist, pundit and opinion maker, social critic, author, columnist, and public speaker. As the president and CEO of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy, she focuses on domestic and foreign policy. In particular, she takes interest in the human rights of women and ethnic and religious minorities globally.
The recipients and awards for 2022 include:
Bakari Sellers, recipient of the Black Brilliance Impact Award.
Sellers, a political analyst for CNN, rose to national fame as the youngest African American to serve in the South Carolina House of Representatives. At the tender age of 22, Sellers was elected to represent the 90th District, where he fought for voters’ rights. Now, the Howard graduate continues the fight on the world stage.
Blow, the esteemed New York Times Opinion columnist, is known for his insightful writing on the soul of America. The talented creative is also an award-winning graphic designer whose images of 9-11 and the war in Iraq garnered international fame. This Grambling State University graduate is the author of the riveting book and play, “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.”
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Photo: GWUL CEO George H. Lambert Jr. was surprise recipient of the Legacy Award