Sneaker giant Reebok has announced that it has relaunched its celebrated Reebok Human Rights Award program.
Starting this year, Reebok will annually honor extraordinary young human rights activists under the age of 30. Each activist, who will be revealed at a ceremony this upcoming June, will receive a $100,000 award to support them and their work. This program is being done in partnership with Alabama State University (ASU) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“The need for activism to promote equality and the rights of all humans has arguably never been greater. We are proud to, once again, celebrate and support young individuals who have dedicated their lives to fighting injustice and creating a better world,” said Reebok President Matt O’Toole in a written statement. “And we are incredibly fortunate and grateful to be able to re-launch the program with the support of the ACLU and Alabama State University. Together we believe this program can be a catalyst for meaningful change.”
Reebok is also announcing the program’s newly reconstituted Board of Advisors, which will include Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU; Amber Hikes, Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer of the ACLU; Hall of Fame rugby player and entrepreneur Phaidra Knight (ASU Alumna); Dr. Regina Moorer, Assistant Professor at ASU; immigrant rights activist Sara Mora; the National Director for the Youth and College Division at the NAACP, Tiffany Dena Loftin; former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal; and Reebok Vice President of Creative Direction and Founder of Pyer Moss, Kerby Jean-Raymond. Additional Board members will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
“Reebok was a pioneer in recognizing human rights work by young activists and elevating, supporting, and highlighting important issues and causes,” said Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative. “When I received the award in 1989, I met co-awardees and inspiring advocates from China, Brazil, Northern Ireland who have become life-long partners in human rights. At a time when so many young people are doing such extraordinary work to make the world more just, equitable, and safe, I’m delighted to see the revival of the Reebok Human Rights Award.”
“Alabama State University (ASU) is honored to be selected to partner with Reebok and the ACLU in restoring this important global initiative,” said Alabama State University President, Dr. Quinton T. Ross, Jr. “From our founding by nine freed slaves just two years after the end of the American Civil War to our critical involvement in the Modern Civil Rights Movement, Alabama State University has a long and storied history of advancing the cause of human rights. This partnership provides yet another opportunity for ASU to play a role in supporting the next generation of activists and transformative leaders.”
“We’re excited to join with Reebok and Alabama State University to recognize and honor the new generation of innovative social activists,” said Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. “We look forward to joining forces with these change-makers to dismantle systemic racism and build our communities up based on principles of equality.”
Nominations for the 2021 Reebok Human Rights Award are now open. To nominate someone or for more information on the program, go to www.reebok.com/human_rights_award.