The Nation Institute and The Puffin Foundation recently announced that Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP president and CEO, will receive the annual $100,000 Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship.
Over the past two decades, Jealous has helped organize successful campaigns to abolish the death penalty for minors, stop Mississippi’s governor from turning a historically black university into a prison and pass federal legislation against prison rape.
Before joining the NAACP, his investigative journalism at the Jackson Advocate was credited with helping save the life of a white inmate who was being threatened for helping convict corrupt prison guards, free a black small farmer who was being framed for arson and spur official investigations into law enforcement corruption.
As president of the NAACP, Jealous 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.
The Puffin Foundation and The Nation Institute co-sponsor this annual award, given to an individual who has challenged the status quo through distinctive, courageous, imaginative and socially responsible work of significance.
“From the ballot box to the classroom, death row to the Supreme Court, Jealous is a front-line fighter of justice and equality, and a visionary who sees the interconnected nature of all kinds of human rights struggles,” said Perry Rosenstein, president of The Puffin Foundation Ltd.