The NAACP recently announced on (March 4, 2021) that Civil Rights Movement icon Rev. James Lawson will receive the honorable NAACP Chairman's Award during the 52nd NAACP Image Awards. The Chairman's Award, which Wells Fargo sponsors, is presented to recognize individuals who demonstrate commendable public service and use their platforms to create and influence change. Past honorees of the Chairman's Award include Tyler Perry, then-Senator Barack Obama, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Former Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, Ruby Dee, The Neville Brothers, Bono, Danny Glover, and last year's winner, the late U.S. Congressman John Lewis. The award will be presented to Rev. James Lawson during the two-hour Live TV special airing on BET and simulcast across ViacomCBS networks, including CBS, BET Her, VH1, MTV, MTV2, and LOGO on Saturday, March 27th, 2021, at 8/7c.
Serving as a leading civil rights leader, revered educator, and mentor, Rev. James Lawson is one of the most impactful social justice leaders of the twentieth century. Rev. Lawson will be awarded the Chairman's Award to recognize his work as a social change advocate and his significant contributions to the civil rights movement, specifically the essential role in the south's nonviolent protests in the 1960s.
"Last summer, we saw millions around the world take to the streets in the most influential protests for racial justice and civil rights in a generation. These protests were inspired by the work of Civil Rights Movement leaders like Rev. James Lawson," stated Chairman Leon W. Russell. "In this pivotal moment for Black history, there is no better time to recognize Rev. Lawson's tremendous contributions to American history and to live up to his example."
Highlighting her great efforts and leading role in the COVID-19 vaccine research and development efforts, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett will receive the Key of Life Award bestowed by Wells Fargo. The award will recognize Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett's historical role as the scientific lead on the Vaccine Research Center's coronavirus team, which has been key to developing the Moderna vaccine bestowed upon her by Dr. Barney Graham.
NAACP Image Awards Co-Founder, Toni Vaz, will additionally be honored with the Founder's Award to spotlight her work at creating the nation's premier multicultural award show. Toni Vaz co-founded the NAACP Image Awards in 1967 to change the perception of Black people in Hollywood. Actress Yvettee Nicole Brown will present the award.
The 52nd NAACP Image Awards is presented by Wells Fargo and sponsored by AT&T, Nike, FedEx, Bank of America, Alaska Airlines.
Winners of the live televised award categories will be announced during the 52nd NAACP Image Awards premieres on Saturday, March 27th, 2021, at 8/7c. Non-televised award categories will be announced virtually between March 22-26.