The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights will honor AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, lifelong social justice activist Shirley Sherrod, and Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese with the civil and human rights movement’s highest honor, the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award.

The recipients will be honored at the 35th annual Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner, the nation’s largest gathering of the civil and human rights community, on May 12.

“As our current political climate is steeped in wedge politics and efforts to divide our nation rather than celebrate our rich diversity, all of us who cherish equality and equal opportunity have been energized by three strong voices of inclusion, three remarkable champions of social justice,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference.  

“Unafraid to challenge racism and classism anywhere, Richard Trumka participated in the Free South Africa Movement protests, and his leadership of the AFL-CIO and its 12 million members has energized the fight for a more just and equal society. Shirley Sherrod’s public advocacy has inspired us all with her lifelong pursuit of racial equality and social justice. And Joe Solmonese has been an indispensable voice in the fight for LGBT equality, providing leadership that helped pass the first federal laws to recognize the very identity of gay and lesbian individuals.”

“In the spirit of our award’s namesake, our honorees have answered Senator Humphrey’s exhortation to embrace civil rights and to ‘walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights.’”

The Leadership Conference’s 35th annual dinner will bring together some of the loftiest members of the social justice community, including national civil and human rights leaders, members of Congress, executive branch officials, and business leaders.

Past recipients of the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award include President Bill Clinton, FDIC Chairperson Sheila Bair, veterans and disability advocate Tammy Duckworth, the late historian John Hope Franklin, labor leader Dolores Huerta, civil rights icon Julian Bond, housing advocate Patricia Rouse, journalists Tom Joyner, Ellen Goodman, and Soledad O’Brien, as well as congressional leaders the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the late Rep. Barbara Jordan (D-Tex.), Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), and former Rep. Connie Morella (D-Md.).

The awards dinner will be held at the Hilton Washington, 1919 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Washington, DC.  Ticket and sponsorship information are available at or by calling (202) 263-2857.