The Legal Defense Fund (LDF) will hold its 34th National Equal Justice Awards Dinner on May 10 and Stevie Wonder, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Sherrilyn Ifill will be the evening’s honorees. The theme for the August occasion is “Truth is Power.”
The event will “recognize and honor leaders in law, the arts, business, and philanthropy who have demonstrated a commitment to the promotion of racial justice and equality,” according to a press release obtained by EBONY. The evening will be a celebration of the significant civil rights work of the LDF over the past year.
Wonder, a 25 Grammy-Award winner, who has sold over 100 million records, will receive the LDF’s inaugural Icon Award “in recognition of his steadfast work throughout his illustrious career, spanning over half a century, which embodies LDF’s values and demonstrates his commitment to confronting the barriers that face Black Americans and other marginalized communities,” the media statement goes on to explain.
Hannah-Jones, noted journalist, Howard University professor, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The 1619 Project, will receive the Spirit of Justice Award, honoring her “unflagging courage and fierce dedication to speak truth to power throughout her prolific career.”
Last but not least, Sherrilyn Ifill, LDF’s outgoing President and Director-Counsel, will be awarded the Thurgood Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing her “tremendous contributions to LDF and her tireless commitment to advancing racial justice.”
Former First Lady Michelle Obama and Colin Kaepernick will be featured in special video messages to commemorate the evening. Additionally, the Dance Theater of Harlem will render two special performances.
Founded by Thurgood Marshall in 1940, the first Black Supreme Court Justice, LDF was launched to fight for racial equality and ensure due process of law against widespread, state-sponsored racial inequality. For over 80 years, LDF’s mission has been to achieve racial justice and more inclusive society.