This award is presented to an individual who has had a national impact in the field of racial justice in the United States. Honorees are selected based on criteria that reflect Dr. Dorothy I. Height's significant civil rights contributions: service in a leadership role, commitment to racial equity and a high standard of courage, integrity and steadfastness in support of the YWCA's mission to eliminate racism and empower women.
"For more than two decades, Soledad O'Brien has brought issues of racial justice to the forefront, and right into our living rooms," said YWCA USA CEO Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D. "From her coverage of major news stories, like Hurricane Katrina and the Crisis in Haiti, to her examination of what it means to be black and Latino in America. Through her professional commitment to racial justice, and her personal mission to help disadvantaged young women across the country get a college education, Soledad O'Brien exemplifies the life and work of civil rights pioneer Dorothy Height, and we are honored that she will join us at the 2014 YWCA Annual Conference."
"I am humbled to receive an award named for civil rights icon Dr. Dorothy Height, who spoke out on issues of race, class and gender, and devoted her life to furthering justice and freedom for not only women, but for people of all races and gender," said O'Brien. "Journalism provided me with a national platform to talk about racial issues, to ask the tough questions and have those uncomfortable conversations, and I am committed to continuing that dialogue."