American Association for Affirmative Action Announces Award Winners at its Access, Equity and Diversity Summit and Annual Meeting

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Outstanding leaders in civil rights, access for the disabled and veterans rights will receive association honors at upcoming Summit in Raleigh, NC; Three who staged historic sit-in at Woolworth’s will be celebrated

The American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA), an organization of equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action professionals, announced the award recipients who will be honored at its upcoming Access, Equity and Diversity Summit and Annual Meeting, June 30 – July 1, 2010. The Summit will be held at the Raleigh Marriott City Center, 500 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh, NC. The Summit theme: “The Work goes on, the Cause endures and the Dream shall never die,” is based on a speech given by the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and the association will remember the Senator at the Summit. The three living members who staged a sit-in at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, N.C. in 1960 will also be recognized.

This year, the AAAA’s awardees are: the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) and Military Missions in Action, Edward M. Kennedy Community Service Award; Cheryl Queen and Rick Stone, Compass Group North America, Cesar Estrada Chavez Award; Major General Joseph A. McNeil, Franklin E. McCain, and Jibreel Khazan of the “Greensboro Four,” Rosa Parks Award; RiseSmart, Champion of Diversity Award; and Dr. James H. Johnson Jr., the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of strategy and entrepreneurship and director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Drum Major for Justice Award.

AAAA President ReNeé S. Dunman commended the awardees for their contributions to the cause of equal opportunity, access and diversity in their various fields. “All of these award recipients have shown through their good works an outstanding commitment to equal opportunity. They are to be commended for their lives in service to the disadvantaged and are distinguished role models for the next generation,” she said.

Cesar Estrada Chavez Award
The Cesar Estrada Chavez Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated leadership in support of workers' rights and humanitarian issues. Under the leadership of Cheryl Queen and Richard Stone, the Compass Group partnered with a South Florida workers’ rights organization, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, to increase the wages and improve the working conditions of mainly Latino, Mayan Indian and Haitian immigrants working in low-wage jobs throughout the state of Florida.

Rosa Parks Award
The Rosa Parks Award is presented to an individual who has served as a role model and leader to others through personal achievements, excellence in a chosen field, commitment to human rights, civil rights, and social issues, and contributions to the betterment of society. Major General Joseph McNeil, Franklin E. McCain and Jibreel Khazan are honored for their history-making sit-in at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, NC in 1960.

Edward M. Kennedy Community Service Award
The Edward M. Kennedy Community Service Award is presented to an individual or organization demonstrating outstanding service to a community based organization or issue. In honor of the late Senator Kennedy, AAAA changed the name of this award in recognition of Kennedy’s lifetime of service. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN), one of two Kennedy Community Service Award honorees, is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps individuals with disabilities enhance their employability and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.

Military Missions in Action (MMIA), located in Fuquay - Varina, NC, provides needed services to veterans who have suffered serious injury resulting in disabilities. The majority of Military Missions in Action's services involve home modifications needed to enable independent living for disabled veterans on their return from service. MMIA is the second Edward M. Kennedy Community Service Awardee.

Champion of Diversity Award
The Champion of Diversity Award is given to an organization or corporation that has demonstrated an outstanding level of dedication to AAAA’s mission of fostering equal opportunity as well as exhibiting outstanding commitment to diversity. RiseSmart, the 2010 recipient of the Champion of Diversity Award, is a “next generation” outplacement company headquartered in Silicon Valley, CA, and boasts a very ethnically diverse staff serving those seeking employment opportunities.

Drum Major for Justice Award
The Drum Major for Justice Award was first given in 2008 to recognize two former members of Congress who had contributed a lifetime of work for equal opportunity through affirmative action. The original recipients were Rep. Augustus F. Hawkins (D-CA) and Rep. Parren Mitchell (D-MD). This year, AAAA recognizes Dr. James H. Johnson Jr., the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for his research and leadership in the areas of community and economic development, the effects of demographic changes on the U.S. workplace, interethnic minority conflict in advanced industrial societies, urban poverty and public policy in urban America, and workforce diversity.

For more information, go to http://www.affirmativeaction.org. Founded in 1974, the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) is a national not-for-profit association of professionals working in the areas of affirmative action, equal opportunity, and diversity. AAAA helps its members to be more successful and productive in their careers. It also promotes understanding and advocacy of affirmative action to enhance access and equality in employment, economic and educational opportunities.

888 16th Street, NW, Suite 800 * Washington, D.C. 20006 *202-349-9855 ex 1857 *
800-252-8952 * Fax: 202-355-1399 * http://www.affirmativeaction.org

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