Every year, during the AAAED National Conference and Annual Meeting, AAAED confers awards named for historic figures in the civil rights, affirmative action, equal opportunity and diversity fields. The following individuals received the AAAED honors during the 47th National Conference and Awards Ceremony – Virtual because of their outstanding leadership, commitment and contributions to the cause of access, equity and diversity.
The Drum Major for Justice is the highest award AAAED confers. This award is a special acknowledgement of the extraordinary contributions that an organization or individual has made to the cause of access, equity and diversity. Previous recipients include Rev. Dr. CT Vivian (2018), Dr. Shirley A Jackson (2017) Rep. G. K. Butterfield (2016), and Representatives August F. Hawkins and Parren Mitchell (deceased) (2008).
Named for the “Father of Affirmative Action,” former Assistant Secretary of Labor Arthur A. Fletcher, who established the Revised Philadelphia Plan requiring goals and timetables in the construction industry - the precursor for what became “Affirmative Action,” the Arthur A. Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a career devoted to promoting and advocating for affirmative action, EEO and diversity.
Named after the civil rights icon who refused to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus and sparked not only the Montgomery Bus Boycott but the ultimate end of racial segregation of public facilities, the Rosa Parks Award recognizes an individual who serves as a role model and leader for others through his or her personal achievements, excellence in a chosen field; commitment to human, civil rights and social issues and contributions to the betterment of society.
The award is named for Cesar Estrada Chavez, an American labor leader and civil rights activist who, along with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers union, UFW) in 1962. The Cesar Estrada Chavez Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated leadership in support of workers' rights and humanitarian issues.
Named after the former Senator from the State of Massachusetts who was a lifetime champion of civil rights, disability rights and other issues on behalf of disadvantaged persons, the award is presented to an individual or organization demonstrating outstanding community service.
This award was named after the late R. Roosevelt Thomas Jr., known for developing and implementing innovative concepts and strategies for maximizing organizational and individual potential through Diversity Management. The award is therefore given to an organization or corporation for outstanding achievements in promoting diversity in the workforce.
This award is given to an individual who is becoming a leader on the national stage and who has demonstrated excellence in his/her workplace and/or community. This is the first year that the award will be conferred.
The President’s Awards are given to AAAED members who have made outstanding contributions to the Association.
Sharron G. Gatling, CAAP, College of William and Mary, Conference Co-Chair and Board Member
Sandra K. Hueneman, Sr. CAAP, Manchester Consultants, AAAED Treasurer and Webinar Administrator
Jerry Knighton, M.P.A., Clemson University, AAAED Conference Planning Committee
Marilynn Schuyler, Esq., Schuyler Affirmative Action Practice, AAAED Sponsorship Chair and Board Member
Tonisha Thorpe, University of Arkansas, AAAED Conference Committee
Shirley J. Wilcher, MA, JD, CAAP, AAAED Executive Director and Conference Committee Member
This award is given to individuals who were leaders in the establishment and growth of the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED).