The civil rights organization said the awards are “presented in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service.” Past honorees include icons such as Jesse Jackson, Condoleezza Rice, Rihanna, Muhammad Ali.
“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,” Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, said in a statement shared with HuffPost.
“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,” the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said in a statement, adding that they are “proud to support the NAACP’s work.”
The royal couple also helped create the new NAACP-Archewell Digital Civil Rights Award, which is supported by their Archewell Foundation. Safiya Noble, an internet studies scholar and professor of Gender Studies and African American Studies at UCLA, will be the first recipient of the award.
Noble is a MacArthur Fellow, the author of the book “Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism,” and co-founder and faculty director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, which announced a partnership with Archewell in December 2020.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex participated in a Time 100 Talk with Noble in October 2020, discussing misinformation and hate speech online. Noble also wrote a viral article about Meghan for The Cut last year, called “The Fight of Meghan Markle’s Life.”
Tune in to BET on Saturday to see the awards show, which airs live at 8 p.m. ET.