Human Rights Advocate Awards

Awards are bestowed on individuals who have made significant contributions to human rights in Tennessee, or who have roots in Tennessee and have made an impact elsewhere around the globe. Recipients are recognized annually at the Tennessee celebration of International Human Rights Day.

The award for Lifetime Achievement is given to individuals who have dedicated their life and career to the advancement of human rights.

Introduced in 2011, the Rising Advocate Award is bestowed upon individuals early in their career who have already demonstrated a dedication and contribution to human rights.

Introduced in 2014, the Outstanding Service Award is presented to devoted human rights leaders who have done amazing work to forward human rights in the state of Tennessee.

Click here to learn more about eligibility and the nominating process and nominate honorees.


Lifetime Achievement – A.J. Starling
Outstanding Service – Robin Derryberry, Rev. Dr. Earle J. Fisher, Dr. Allison Quintanilla Plattsmier
Rising Advocate – Jacob Aparicio, Dr. Stephanie Kang


Lifetime Achievement – Andre Conte, Rev. Enoch Fuzz
Outstanding Service – Judge Rachel Bell
Rising Advocate – Joseph Gutierrez, Timothy Hughes


Lifetime Achievement – Rev. V. H. “Sonnye” Dixon, Ernest “Rip” Patton, Jr.
Outstanding Service – Dr. James Hildreth, Rev. Becca Stevens
Rising Advocate – Alora Young


Lifetime Achievement – Abby Rubenfeld, Rev. Edwin C. Sanders II
Outstanding Service – Keith Caldwell, Rashed Fakruddhin
Rising Advocate – Frances Anderson, Tequila Johnson


Lifetime Achievement – King Hollands, Dr. Blondell Strong Kimbrough
Outstanding Service – Dawn Deaner, Tom Negri
Rising Advocate – Fayo Abadula, Anne Barnett, Odessa Kelly, Community Oversight Now


Lifetime Achievement – Senator Thelma Harper, Joey King
Outstanding Service – Jerry Redman, Zulfat Suara
Rising Advocate – Kayo Beshir, Pratik Dash, Madison White


Lifetime Achievement – Dr. Charles Kimbrough
Outstanding Service – Juan Canedo, Derri Smith
Rising Advocate – Anna Carella, Justin Jones, Mohamed Shukri-Hassan


Lifetime Achievement – Kwame Lillard, Bernard Werthan
Outstanding Service – Dr. Marisa Richmond
Rising Advocate – Ashford Hughes Sr., Aisha Lbhalla


Lifetime Achievement – Fr. Joseph Breen, First Baptist Capitol Hill
Outstanding Service – Yuri Cunza, Avi Poster
Rising Advocate – Eben Cathey, Daynise Joseph


Lifetime Achievement – Carrie Gentry, Elliott Ozment, Rev. James “Tex” Thomas
Rising Advocate – Stephanie Teatro, Gatluak Thach


Lifetime Achievement – Rev. Bill Barnes, Attorney George Barrett, Rosetta Miller Perry
Rising Advocate – Daoud Abudiab, Cecilia Gomez


Lifetime Achievement – Jerry Lee, Sheila Peters
Rising Advocate – MarQo Patton, Remziya Suleyman


Lifetime Achievement – Don Beisswenger, Jocelyn Dan Wurzburg, Tommie Morton Young


Lifetime Achievement – Fred Cloud, Inez Crutchfield


Lifetime Achievement – Rev. Dr. James Lawson, Mr. John Seigenthaler