ANNUAL DISTINGUISED SERVICE TO THE HUMANITIES AWARDS
JOHN LEWIS (D-Ga.)
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON (D-D.C.)
A CAPELLA GROUP
SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK
Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 6:30pm
The Humanities Council of Washington, DC’s (HCWDC) is proud to honor civil rights activist, Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.), and civil and women’s rights activist, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and internationally renowned a cappella ensemble, SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK. All three have demonstrated exemplary courage and dedication in the fight for civil and human rights. This year’s theme “Voices of Change, Sounds of Freedom!” reflects their lifelong work of promoting equality for all. “Our honorees have a very profound relationship to the soul of this country. By their voices, by their principles and their very lives, they have changed the course of history by holding fast to the truths declared in our Constitution. With grateful hearts, we honor them!” says Joy Austin, Humanities Council Executive Director.
The Annual Distinguished Services to the Humanities Awards Ceremony, conversation with honorees and reception will take place at 6:30p.m.on Thursday, October 18 at Hogan Lovells LLP in Washington, DC.
The Distinguished Service to the Humanities Awards ceremony is the Council’s largest annual fundraising event, attracting attendees from across the Washington Metropolitan region. The Distinguished Service to the Humanities Award is the longest-standing and most prestigious honor given by the Humanities Council. Recent past honorees include, Johnetta B. Cole, Peggy Cooper Cafritz, Ira Berlin, Charles Fishman, Tony Gittens, Philippa P.B. Hughes, Sharon Percy Rockefeller and Howard Shalwitz.
The Humanities Council of Washington, DC (HCWDC) transforms lives through the power of the Humanities. As a far-reaching community catalyst, we build bridges between multiple and diverse neighborhoods to affirm and enliven the human spirit, promote cross-cultural understanding, enrich the quality of life, and foster intellectual stimulation. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and public and private partners, we support local humanities projects and Council initiated programs.
movement. He has represented Georgia’s Fifth District in Congress since 1986. As a young adult, first at Fisk University and later as the head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Congressman Lewis engaged in organizing nonviolent student activism. He was instrumental in the voter registration drives in the South in the 1960’s and was a keynote speaker of the March on Washington in August 1963. He is the author of two books, the most recent, Across that Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change, having been published earlier this year, and is the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees.
About Eleanor Holmes Norton
Eleanor Holmes Norton has a rich history of advocating America’s most basic legal rights. Representing the District of Columbia in Congress since 1991, Ms. Norton was born in D.C. She was active in the civil rights movement while a student at Yale, where she obtained a masters and law degrees. Congresswoman Norton focused on free speech issues for the American Civil Liberties Union, and championed women’s rights issues when she headed the New York City Human Rights Commission. She continued her commitment to women’s and civil rights during her tenure as Chair of the Equal Opportunity Commission. Congresswoman Norton persists in her active pursuit of voting rights for the citizens of D.C. She is a professor at Georgetown University and has received numerous honorary degrees and awards.
About Sweet Honey in the Rock
The exquisite harmony, rhythm, and vision of Sweet Honey in the Rock have thrilled audiences worldwide for nearly 40 years. Founded here in D.C. in 1973 by Bernice Johnson Reagon, Sweet Honey in the Rock is an all-woman, African American, a capella ensemble. Sweet Honey in the Rock captures the rich textures of African American legacy and traditions in her music about hope, love, justice, peace, and resistance. The group has won numerous awards, including Grammy nominations and appearing on a Grammy award-winning album, and was recently awarded Honorary Doctor of Letters by the Chicago Theological Seminary.
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