Harry and Meghan to receive civil rights award award from NAACP

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will on Saturday accept an award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a leading US civil rights group, in recognition of their work to help a woman’s shelter in Texas, their promotion of Covid vaccine equity and a partnership to create community relief centers.

The NAACP president’s award is given each year in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service. It has been won by Muhammad Ali, LeBron James, Rihanna, Jay-Z and Lauryn Hill, and political figures including the Rev Jesse Jackson, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.

In a statement, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said: “It’s a true honor to be recognized by Derrick Johnson and the NAACP, whose efforts to propel racial justice and civil rights are as vital today as they were nearly 115 years ago [when the NAACP was formed].”

Johnson, the NAACP president, said the couple had “heeded the call to social justice and have joined the struggle for equity both in the US and around the world”.

The NAACP also created a new award in partnership with the couple and their charity, Archewell. The NAACP-Archewell digital civil rights award, which will recognize leaders at the intersection of social justice and technology, comes with a $100,000 prize.

Johnson said the couple had “decided to inspire the next generation of activists … ensuring the support and recognition of generations of civil rights leaders to come”.

The first recipient will be Safiya Noble, author of Algorithms of Oppression, a 2018 study of how internet search engines serve to reinforce racial and sexist bias.

“Digital civil rights and protections from harm on the internet are a crucial pathway to a more just world,” Noble said.

Noble’s work on how digital technologies reinforce cultural, race and gender stereotypes began after it was suggested she use Google to search for the term “black girls”, and was horrified to find that search results led to pornographic sites.

When the couple announced the formation of their Archewell charity, two years ago, they put out a note explaining its purpose.

They said they believed in the “best of humanity” and said they would “work to build a better world, one act of compassion at a time”.

“I am my mother’s son,” Harry said, referring to Princess Diana. “And I am our son’s mother.”

Organisers said the NAACP awards ceremony, to be broadcast in the US by BET on Saturday night, would include a performance by Mary J Blige and appearances by Issa Rae, Kerry Washington, LL Cool J, Michael Strahan, Morgan Freeman, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Paula Patton, Questlove, Samuel L Jackson, Simu Liu, Tiffany Haddish and Zendaya.

source: theguardian.com