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Unsung Heroes of Democracy Award

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The Unsung Heroes of Democracy Award honors lawyers, election workers, everyday citizens and non-profit organizations that stand up for democracy and the rule of law. The award recognizes that everyone has the ability to ensure and protect our democracy today and for generations to come. It serves as a beacon for those who support the rule of law and democracy and as encouragement to those who are in a position to stand up for democracy.

Nomination Form

Please submit the nomination form, including supplemental materials, as an attachment in one email to [email protected] (subject line: Unsung Heroes of Democracy Award nomination).

Guidelines

Description of Award

The American Bar Association and its Task Force for American Democracy created the Unsung Heroes of Democracy Award to honor lawyers, election workers, everyday citizens and non-profit organizations that stand up for democracy and the rule of law. The award recognizes the efforts of individuals and organizations that do the right thing, despite their own peril.

Eligibility

  • Everyday Lawyers who have stood up for democracy
  • State and Local Election Workers who have stood up for democracy
  • Everyday Citizens, who are not election workers or lawyers, who have stood up in theircommunities for democracy and free and fair elections
  • Non-profit Organizations that support election workers and lawyers under threat and exhibit astrong commitment to the Constitution, rule of law and democracy
  • Self-nominations are not accepted

Selection Criteria

Individual Awardees

  • First criteria for selection are individuals who are everyday lawyers, election workers, and everydaycitizens
  • Not on national stage
  • Steadfast commitment to the rule of law and democracy
  • For election workers, fulfilling duties of employment, despite threats, harassment, and loss of job
  • For lawyers, placing their oath to uphold the Constitution above all other duties and oaths
  • For average citizens, going above and beyond to support democracy and our elections

Non-Profit Organizations

  • Supporting the Constitution, rule of law and democracy
  • Supporting election workers who stand up for democracy
  • Supporting lawyers who stand up for democracy
  • Supporting everyday citizens who stand up for democracy

Nomination Deadline

The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

Nomination Requirements

Only ABA members may submit a nomination.

To nominate an individual for the award, please submit the following as an attachment in one email to [email protected] (subject line: Unsung Heroes of Democracy Award nomination):

  • Completed nomination form;
  • Nomination letter that addresses the how the nominee, an extraordinary individual (an everydaylawyers, election worker, or citizen) or organization that has expressed a strong commitment toelections, democracy, and the rule of law through their actions, why they should be a recipient ofthe Unsung Heroes Award, and how the nominee meets the eligibility criteria;
  • Documentation of Nominee going above and beyond in support of elections, democracy, and therule of law;
  • Any relevant information about the nominee, such as news articles; and
  • Any other material information that the Unsung Heroes Selection Committee should be aware ofprior to review of the nomination.

Selection and Notifications

Nominations will be reviewed by the Task Force for American Democracy Unsung Heroes Award Selection Committee, including the ABA President, and one representative from any ABA co-sponsoring entities.

The ABA will notify the recipient(s) when the Unsung Heroes Award recipient(s) is/are selected. Airfare and lodging will be arranged for recipient(s) to travel to 2024 Annual Meeting to receive the Award.

Presentation of Award

The Unsung Heroes Award recipient(s) will be presented with a commemorative plaque during the Democracy Summit at the 2024 ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago, Friday, August 2, 2024. The recipient (or appropriate designee) must be present to receive the Unsung Heroes Award.