Friday, April 29, 2011

Star Jones to Host Spirit of Democracy Awards and Launch of The National Coalition's 35th Anniversary Celebration

Wade Henderson, Minyon Moore, and Rev. Al Sharpton are among Honorees at Event Hosted by The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

Washington, DC - Former New York prosecutor, TV host, and author, Star Jones, will serve as host of the 14th annual "Spirit of Democracy Awards Black & White Gala," Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO of The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (The National Coalition) has announced. The Gala will be held on May 18, 2011 at the Renaissance DC Hotel.

Selected for their unselfish dedication to education, social and economic justice, the 2011 Spirit of Democracy honorees are: Wade Henderson, president and CEO, Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights; Minyon Moore, principal, Dewey Square Group; Rev. Al Sharpton, president, National Action Network; Yelberton Watkins, chief of staff, Congressman James Clyburn's Office; Dennis Van Roekel, president, National Education Association; and Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers.

“We could not have chosen a better group of honorees to kick-off our 35th anniversary celebration. All of them are great leaders and are committed to empowering communities of color,” said Campbell. “This is the first of multiple anniversary events to take place throughout the year. We're taking the rest of the year to celebrate and to build upon over three decades of leadership, engagement and empowerment in Black communities.”

Additional 35th anniversary events planned later this year include the launch of the Eddie Williams Civic Engagement and Social Innovation Training Academy on September 17, and the Women of Power 35: Mentor/Protégé Luncheon & Summit on October 20. The luncheon and summit will be part of the close-out of the final tour stop for the Black Women's Roundtable (BWR) 2010-2011 “Healthy, Wealthy, & Wise” National Empowerment Tour. Made possible by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the tour provides tools to empower Black and underserved women and girls.

The Spirit of Democracy Awards are presented to individuals and organizations who have demonstrated a consistent commitment to creating balance in the democratic process and support The National Coalition's mission and vision of making civic participation a cultural responsibility and tradition. Title 35th Anniversary Partners include AT&T and Verizon, among others. The event is open to the public. Individual ticket prices are $150. For tickets or more information call 202-659-4929 or visit to purchase online.

Founded in 1976, the NCBCP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing Black civic participation in civil society. For 35 years, The National Coalition has been a central force for Black civic engagement, leadership development and voter empowerment creating effective coalition models and networks to address our communities' emerging needs through its 80 membership organizations, 12 state-based affiliates, and signature programs and initiatives---Black Women's Roundtable, Black Youth Vote!, Youth Policy & Process, Voices of the Electorate and Unity Diaspora Coalition.