Louis E. Martin Great American Award Recipients

The award is named after Louis E. Martin (1912-1997), a principal founder of the Joint Center and the first chair of its Board. As a Chicago Defender journalist, Black newspaper publisher, and an advisor to three presidents, Martin was instrumental in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Among friends and colleagues, Martin was known for expressing his warmest respects with his favorite compliment: “You are a great American.”

Cedric Richmond
2020

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Stacey Abrams
2019

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26th Secretary of Labor Tom Perez
2016

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Susan Rice
2013

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Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr.
2011

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Vice President Kamala Harris
2018

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Eddie Williams
2015

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Kasim Reed
2012

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Dorothy Height
2010

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Congresswoman Barbara Lee
2017

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Senator Cory Booker
2014

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Congressman John Lewis
2012

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Congressman James Clyburn
2009

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Congressman Charles Rangel
2008

President William J. Clinton

President Bill Clinton
2007

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Muhammad Ali
2006

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Vernon Jordan
2005

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President Jimmy Carter
2004