LBJ Liberty & Justice For All Award
Congressman John Dingell is the longest serving member in the U.S. House of Representatives. His extraordinary career has defined him as a distinguished legislator and great defender of Americans' civil liberties. Throughout his long congressional career, John Dingell has influenced the passage of some of the most important legislation of the past half century, including Medicare, the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, and the Affordable Care Act. The Congressman stood alongside President Johnson as he signed the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964. His commitment to social justice has been unwavering as evinced more recently by his support for federal hate crime legislation, reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, comprehensive immigration reform, and the Employee Non-Discrimination Act. Congressman Dingell said, "I consider my votes to advance the Civil Rights movement throughout the 50s and 60s among the most important votes I've cast in my nearly 58 years in the House of Representatives. This is about treating all people fairly, with honor, dignity, and respect."
Senator Carl Levin has served 36 years in the U.S. Senate and is known for his bipartisan leadership, insisting legislators reach across the aisle and come together to achieve a nation of justice and liberty. He has long advocated for quality, affordable educational opportunities for all Americans. Evoking President Johnson's 1965 "We Shall Overcome" speech, Senator Levin recently said, "If we can’t ensure that all Americans have access to higher education, we shut off access to the American dream." As chairman of the Armed Services Committee, he has worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of our country and been a champion for all those who serve in the military. Carl Levin has dedicated his career to exposing injustices and emboldening the oppressed, actively taking on modern day civil rights issues such as the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and same-sex marriage, supporting the 2006 reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, endorsing the Affordable Care Act, and co-sponsoring the Employee Non-Discrimination Act.
WASHINGTON, November 18, 2014 – The LBJ Foundation today awarded its most prestigious prize, the LBJ Liberty & Justice for All Award, to Congressman John Dingell and Senator Carl Levin, two remarkable lawmakers who epitomize LBJ's legacy and honor his dream for the American people.
"Over a combined 93 years serving the American people in the Congress, Senator Levin and Congressman Dingell have distinguished themselves as great defenders of Americans' civil liberties. They embody the beliefs that President Johnson held dear—that every citizen should share in the benefits of the privileges and protections that lie at the heart of the American dream," said Larry Temple, chairman of the LBJ Foundation.
Congressman Dingell, who first was elected to the House of Representatives in 1955, is the longest serving member of the House and a dedicated champion of social justice. Through his history-making career, the Michigan lawmaker has influenced the passage of some of the most important legislation of the past half century, including Medicare, the Clean Air Act Amendments and the Affordable Care Act. His unwavering commitment to justice is exemplified by his support for federal hate-crime legislation, reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act and comprehensive immigration reform. The Congressman also stood aside President Johnson as he signed the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964.
"I consider my votes to advance the Civil Rights movement throughout the '50s and '60s among the most important votes I’ve cast in my 58 years in the House of Representatives," Congressman Dingell said.
Senator Levin, the longest-serving Senator in Michigan history, is a leader in bipartisanship and the distinguished Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He has dedicated his career to exposing injustices and has long advocated for quality, affordable educational opportunities for all Americans. He actively took on modern-day civil rights issues such as the military’s "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy and same-sex marriage, and supported the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, the creation of the Affordable Care Act and the Employee Non-Discrimination Act. From the first piece of legislation he introduced – a bill to end discrimination by credit card companies – Senator Levin has spoken up for working families and worked to build an America that lives up to the ideals of its founders.
Evoking President Johnson’s 1965 "We Shall Overcome" speech, Senator Levin recently said, "If we can’t ensure that all Americans have access to higher education, we shut off access to the American dream."
The LBJ Foundation honored Congressman Dingell and Senator Levin at a gala held November 18 at the Newseum in Washington. Guest speakers were Admiral William H. McRaven, incoming Chancellor of the University of Texas System, Congressman John Lewis, the inaugural recipient of the LBJ Liberty and Justice for All Award, and Senator Jack Reed. The master of ceremonies was Bob Schieffer, CBS journalist and host of Face the Nation. Proceeds from the event will support the new LBJ School of Public Affairs Washington Center, admitting its inaugural class in the fall of 2015.
2014 LBJ Liberty & Justice for All Award
The net proceeds from the award dinner benefited The LBJ School of Public Affairs' Washington Center.
"There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves."
- President Lyndon B. Johnson
Established by President and Mrs. Johnson in 1969, the LBJ Foundation is a nonprofit organization comprised of a board of trustees and administrative staff that supports the LBJ Presidential Library and the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin.
The LBJ Presidential Library, operated under the auspices of the National Archives and Records Administration, maintains the archive of President Johnson's administration and political career and promotes his legacy while providing, in his words, "a springboard for the future" through public programming aimed at addressing the issues of our time. The Foundation enhances the Library by directing public programming, administering the museum's store and admissions operations, and directing grants for researchers and scholars.
The LBJ School of Public Affairs embodies President Johnson's living legacy by nurturing leaders and public servants in the hopes that they will pursue what he called "the oldest, most basic mission of our country: to right wrong, to do justice, to serve man." The Foundation provides financial support for the school for the outstanding education it offers its graduate students in public policy and government affairs, community outreach, and global initiatives.
All bearing our 36th President's name, these three institutions—the LBJ Foundation, the LBJ Presidential Library, and the LBJ School of Public Affairs—preserve Lyndon B. Johnson's consequential legacy while pursuing his hopeful vision for the future.