The Herald Bulletin

April 2, 2013

Burgess receives Wilkins Award


The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Anderson/Madison County NAACP President James Burgess recently received the Roy Wilkins Person of the Year Award from the NAACP’s Midwest Region for his contributions to the organization.

Burgess received the award March 23 at the Midwest Region civil rights advocacy training institute in Detroit. The region includes Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

According to a press release, the Wilkins Award is given based on years of NAACP membership and activity; local, state, and national involvement; outstanding contributions to the NAACP, and local civic engagement.

Burgess, president of the local NAACP for 22 years, is also a local radio talk show host. He was named the NAACP’s outstanding branch president in 1995 and ’96 and serves as the second vice president for the Indiana state conference of the organization. He has also been elected to the NAACP National Resolution Committee for 15 years and is a recipient of the B. Harry Beckham Award.

Roy Wilkins was a prominent civil rights activists in the United States from the 1930s to the 1970s. In 1955, Wilkins was named executive secretary (the title was later changed to executive director) of the NAACP. He participated in the March On Washington (1963), the Selma to Montgomery Marches (1965), and the March Against Fear (1966).

In 1967, Wilkins was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon Johnson.