The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the country’s original civil rights organization, announced that Dr. Hazel N. Dukes, New York State Conference president, was honored at the Black Women’s Agenda (BWA) 40th Annual Symposium and Luncheon, which took place during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s (CBCF) 47th Annual Legislative Conference.

Dr. Dukes was specifically chosen by the BWA for its Economic and Business Award, in recognition of her lifelong achievements in linking business, government and social causes to advance the civil rights movement, improve the quality of life across New York State and blaze trails for women of color.

“It is a true honor to receive this award from the BWA, an organization so committed to empowering African-American women – a cause that is also the focus of my own life’s work,” said Dr. Dukes, President, NAACP New York State Conference. “Today is not the finish line of our pursuit for equality. There is a clear absence of a civil rights agenda in our nation, now more than ever before, and our efforts to bend the arc of humanity toward justice have never been more important. But sharing the stage today with such powerful and strong black women is a reminder that, together, we can and will persist.”

“Dr. Dukes is an unstoppable champion for social justice in America, a true force to be reckoned with and an inspiration for all who have the privilege to see her in action. Her recognition from the BWA today could not be more well-deserved,” said Derrick Johnson, interim president and CEO of the NAACP. “I know that I speak for everyone at the NAACP in congratulating Dr. Dukes on her award, and in expressing our gratitude to have her by our side as we continue our fight against hatred and discrimination.”

Along with serving as President of the NAACP New York State Conference, Dr. Dukes is a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors, a member of the NAACP Executive Committee and an active member of various NAACP board sub-committees. She previously served as the national president of the NAACP. She is also President of the Hazel N. Dukes & Associates Consultant Firm, and a member of the Assembly of Prayer Baptist Church.

Dr. Dukes was saluted at the luncheon alongside: U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris; April Ryan, White House Correspondent and Washington Bureau Chief for American Urban Radio Network and a political analyst for CNN; Patricia A. Maryland, Dr.PH, Executive Vice President Ascension and President and Chief Executive Officer Ascension Health Care; and Briana Richardson, a freshman at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA.

For 40 years, BWA has protected, secured, and advanced the rights of African-American women and their families. Along with recognizing Dr. Dukes and her peers, today’s luncheon also celebrated that milestone before a standing-room-only crowd of more than 1,200 elected officials, journalists, corporate and community leaders, members of its National Collaborating Organizations and other CBCF Conference attendees.

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