Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will on Saturday accept an award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a leading American civil rights group, in recognition of their work to help a women’s shelter in Texas, their promotion of the Covid vaccine equity and a partnership to create community rescue centers.
The NAACP President’s Award is given annually in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service. It was won by Muhammad Ali, LeBron James, Rihanna, Jay-Z and Lauryn Hill, and political figures such as the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.
In a statement, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said: ‘It is truly an honor to be recognized by Derrick Johnson and the NAACP, whose efforts to propel racial justice and civil rights are so vital today. than they were almost 115 years ago. [when the NAACP was formed].”
Johnson, the president of the NAACP, said the couple had “answered the call for social justice and joined the fight for equity in the United States and around the world.”
The NAACP has also created a new award in partnership with the couple and their charity, Archewell. The NAACP-Archewell Award for Digital Civil Rights, which will recognize leaders at the intersection of social justice and technology, comes with a $100,000 prize.
Johnson said the couple “decided to inspire the next generation of activists… providing support and recognition for 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 gender bias.
“Digital civil rights and protection from harm on the internet are a crucial pathway to a fairer world,” Noble said.
Noble’s work on how digital technologies reinforce cultural, racial 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 porn sites.
When the couple announced their charity Archewell two years ago, they launched a note explaining its purpose.
They said they believed in the “best in humanity” and 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 the mother of our son.”
Organizers said the NAACP awards ceremony, which will be broadcast in the United States by BET on Saturday night, will 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.