The National Education Association (NEA) will thank and honor the outstanding work of a dozen of America's human and civil rights heroes at its annual Human and Civil Rights Awards Dinner on July 2 in Denver. This year's theme, "Tonight We Celebrate, Tomorrow We Organize," will recognize those who fought--and continue to fight--for social justice. Award recipients include former U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, (D-Hawaii), Pakistani youth activist Malala Yousafzai and iconic civil rights leader Coretta Scott King.
"Sixty years after the Brown v. Board of Education landmark decision, we still see dramatic inequities and disparities in resources, programs, and opportunities for students across America," said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. "The work of our HCR Award recipients is even more important each year those inequities persist. We must continue to shed a light on their work as they guide and inspire us all."
NEA's C?®sar Ch?ívez Acci??n y Compromiso Human and Civil Rights Award will be presented to:
Dr. Rodolfo F. Acu??a, author and co-founder of the nation's first Department of Chicano Studies. Currently a professor at California State University-Northridge, Acu??a has authored 15 books, with his most recent, Corridors of Migration: The Odyssey of Mexican Laborers, 1600-1933, highlighting the history of Mexican workers and their families from 17th century Chihuahua to 20th century California, and their labor activism.
His landmark book, Occupied America, A History of Chicanos, was first published in 1972, is currently on its seventh edition, and is the standard text on Chicano Studies. In the 1960s, he was involved in the Latin American Civic Association, a grassroots Los Angeles organization of Mexican-American parents, students, and educators concerned with improving educational opportunities for their children. His favorite saying is, "I am proud of being a radical. I'm very proud of my age. I'm very proud of being a Mexican."