An-Na’im Receives 2011 James Weldon Johnson Medal for Human Rights
In recognition of his contributions to international human rights, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law Abdullahi An-Na’im has been named one of five James Weldon Johnson medalists for 2011.
The medals honor the legacy of Johnson, a writer, journalist, civil rights leader, musician and humanitarian. An educator and attorney, Johnson was a graduate of Atlanta University and an early leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He chronicled the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and is remembered for writing the poem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” later set to music his brother, John Rosamond Johnson.
“It is profoundly gratifying for me as an African-American Muslim advocate of human rights and member of the Emory Law School community to be associated with James Weldon Johnson, the renaissance man of the African-American struggle for human dignity and social justice,” An-Na’im said.
The award ceremony and reception is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, in the Cecil B. Day Chapel of The Carter Center. Tickets are free, but seating is limited. Reservations may be made online, www.alumni.emory.edu/jwji
An-Na’im’s fellow 2011 medalists are: Henry “Hank” Aaron, humanitarian award; Xernona Clayton, journalism; Willie Christine King Farris, humanitarian award; and Wole Soyinka,literature.
The awards were established in 1992 by the James Weldon Johnson Foundation. Previous recipients include Myrlie Evers, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, Gloria Steinem, former Georgia Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears 80L, Wynton Marsalis and former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young.
In addition to presentation of the medals, the ceremony will include a tribute to Rudolph P. Byrd, Goodrich C. White Professor of American Studies and founding director of the Johnson Institute, who died Oct. 21 after a long battle with cancer.
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