Ruby Dee is a renowned actor and advocate for social justice. Together with her late husband Ossie Davis, she opened doors for African Americans in film and theater, and fought for civil rights and a host of vital causes. Ruby Dee is a member of the Center's Creative Collective, a group of actors, writers, performers and artists who lend their insights and efforts to CCC's activities.
Cathy Hughes is the founder and chairperson of Radio One, Inc., the largest African American owned and operated broadcast company in the nation. Radio One is the first African American company in radio history to dominate several major markets. Cathy Hughes' commitment to serving the African American community and to mentoring women has been as steadfast as her conviction that "Information is Power."
Luz Vega-Marquis, President and CEO, Marguerite Casey Foundation
Luz A. Vega-Marquis has led Marguerite Casey Foundation since December 2001. Each year the Foundation disburses approximately $30 million in grants to help low-income families strengthen their voice and mobilize their communities to achieve a more just and equitable society. Guided by Luz Vega-Marquis' vision, the Marguerite Casey Foundation has become one of the nation's leading supporters of community organizing and advocacy.
Marie Gonzalez has become a national leader and spokesperson for the DREAM Act-a policy that would provide undocumented immigrant students with a path to citizenship and access to higher education. In the summer of 2005, at age 19, Marie Gonzalez faced deportation to Costa Rica, a country she had last seen when she was five years old. Through a major organizing and media campaign led by CCC and others, she won an extraordinary one-year stay of deportation. Now a college student, Marie Gonzales continues to fight passionately to secure a future in the US for herself and other young immigrants whose only home is America.
The Honorable Barack Obama, United States Senator (Illinois)
(Award will be accepted in absentia)
Sen. Barack Obama has dedicated his life to public service as a community organizer, civil rights attorney, and leader in the Illinois State Senate. He now continues his fight for working families as a United States Senator. As one example, Sen. Obama worked to ensure that the nation's new transportation policy opens up more than $200 billion in federally-aided transportation projects to local hiring and training opportunities for residents of low-income communities.