The honor, recognizing notable achievement and valued public service, will be handed out at the ceremony airing live on Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. on BET. Previous honorees include Muhammad Ali, Colin Powell, Soledad O’Brien, Condoleezza Rice, LeBron James, Rihanna and Jay-Z.
“We’re thrilled to present this award to Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who together have heeded the call to social justice and have joined the struggle for equity both in the U.S. and around the world,” said NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson in a statement. “Not only do they continue to lead by example, The Duke and Duchess have also decided to inspire the next generation of activists through the NAACP-Archewell Digital Civil Rights Award, ensuring the support and recognition of generations of civil rights leaders to come.”
The NAACP-Archewell Digital Civil Rights Award is a newly established annual award that is supported by the couple’s global nonprofit, Archewell Foundation, and administered by the NAACP. The award will honor individuals who are not only leaders of transformational change in progressing civil and human rights, but who also seek advancements in the digital rights space and work to expand equity.
This year’s recipient is author and scholar Safiya Noble, Ph.D., an internet studies scholar and professor of Gender Studies and African American Studies at UCLA. Additionally, she is co-founder and faculty director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2), which works with the Archewell Foundation.
“It’s a true honor to be recognized by President Derrick Johnson and the NAACP, whose efforts to propel racial justice and civil rights are as vital today as they were nearly 115 years ago,” said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in a statement. “We’re proud to support the NAACP’s work and to also partner with the organization on the newly created annual NAACP-Archewell Digital Civil Rights Award, which will be bestowed to Dr. Safiya Noble as part of the 53rd NAACP Image Awards.”