The Nation Institute is pleased to announce the new winner of the Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship: NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous.
The youngest person ever to lead the century-old organization, Jealous was hired in 2008 at the age of 35 and is the 17th President and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. During his tenure, the number of NAACP activists, members, and donors have increased substantially. As President, he has opened national programs on education, health, and environmental justice. He has also greatly increased the organization's capacity to work on issues related to the economy and register and mobilize voters.
A fifth-generation member of the NAACP, Jealous comes from a long-line of American freedom fighters. His mother, who descends from two black Reconstruction statesmen, desegregated Baltimore's Western High School for Girls in 1954 as a member of the NAACP's Youth and College Division. His father, who descends from a Revolutionary War soldier who fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill and Sufragettes, was one of a small number of white men jailed during the Congress of Racial Equality's efforts to desegregate Baltimore's downtown business district.
Founded in 2001 by The Puffin Foundation Ltd. and The Nation Institute, the Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship is an annual award in the amount of $100,000 given to an individual who has challenged the status quo through distinctive, courageous, imaginative and socially responsible work of significance. The prize is awarded at The Nation Institute’s Annual Dinner Gala in New York each December.