Gerald Henderson Human Rights Award
Gerald Henderson Human Rights Award nomination form
2020 Winner — Dr. Eric A. Evans
The Lincoln Commission on Human Rights (LCHR) awards a Lincoln community member annually with the Gerald Henderson Human Rights Award in recognition of their outstanding achievements and commitment to human rights. LCHR’s original Human Rights award was re-named in 2004 to honor the legacy of LCHR’s first Director, Gerald Henderson. Mr. Henderson’s legacy includes, in part, his work at the Malone Community Center, the Lincoln Action Program, as well as his activity in many local and national organizations and movements, such as the NAACP, ACLU of Nebraska, Nebraskans for Peace, and the March on Washington in 1963 followed by voter registration organizing in Selma, Alabama. Mr. Henderson worked diligently throughout his lifetime for the rights of people and the elimination of racism and discrimination.
Dr. Evans is currently the Chief Executive Officer at Disability Rights Nebraska where he oversees all of their program areas, working with the Leadership and a cross-disability Board of Directors toward the vision that “Nebraskans with disabilities, especially those who are most vulnerable, will be free from harm and able to exercise the same rights, opportunities and choices available to all citizens in order to live fully integrated and culturally valued lives."
Dr. Evans has been with Disability Rights Nebraska since 1987 and has dedicated his entire professional career to working on behalf of people with disabilities: before joining Disability Rights Nebraska, he was Executive Director of the Nebraska Governor's Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities. Prior to working for the Council, he served as both a Social Service Worker and Mental Retardation Program Specialist with the Nebraska Department of Public Institutions.
In his time with Disability Rights Nebraska, Dr. Evans has been involved with many major systems-level accomplishments that have improved rights in Lincoln and statewide, including:
- Creation of the Developmental Disabilities Service Act of 1991
- Passage of the Nebraska Guardianship Act revisions of 1994
- The Behavioral Health Services Act of 2004
- The Office of Public Guardian Act of 2014
In addition to his work with Disability Rights Nebraska, Dr. Evans is passionate about training the next generation of professionals to ensure they are educated about working with people with disabilities. He has served as a Lecturer in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education in the UNL College of Education and Human Sciences and is an Adjunct Professor in Administration at the Munroe Meyer Institute of the University of Nebraska Medical Center. In 2016, he co authored the book Peace in Motion - John Dewey and the Aesthetics of Well-Being with Professor of Philosophy Yoram Lubling.
Dr. Evans is currently on the editorial review board for the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry as well as a member of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the American Orthopsychiatry Association. He was on the board of ACLU of Nebraska for many years, including serving as their Board President.
2019 Dr. M. Dewayne Mays
2018 Edward D. Wimes(PDF, 126KB)
2017 Olga Kanne
2016 Thomas Christie
2015 Wendy Francis
2014 Amir A. Azimi
2013 Kit Boesch
2012 Linda Willard
2011 Larry Williams
2010 Pastor Janet Goodman-Banks
2009 No Award
2008 Annie & Leroy Stokes
2007 Beatty Brasch
2006 Florine Joseph
2005 Judi M. gaiashkibos
2004 Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest, Inc., Director Milo Mumgaard
2003 Jose Soto & The Division of Affirmative Action, Equity and Diversity of Southeast Community College
2002 No Award
2001 Cecilia Olivarez-Huerta
2000 Dan Williams