The Equal Opportunities Division (EOD) and the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) presents the Rev. James C. Wright Human Rights Award annually. One adult/organization award and one youth award will be presented.

Award Criteria

  1. Recipients may be an adult, youth (under 18 years old), or organization.
  2. Individuals must be residents of the Madison metropolitan area whose work has impacted the City of Madison.
  3. Recipient must have been actively involved and/or provided leadership in grassroots-type effort(s) that is/are related to civil and/or human rights.
  4. Recipient may not have been recognized for involvement for this particular program or effort by another group or organization in the last two years (but may have been recognized by other groups or organizations for other efforts).
  5. Individuals and organizations must have demonstrated a commitment to civil and/or human rights in the Madison community or elsewhere.
  6. Individuals or organizations must have demonstrated a dedication and commitment to treating people with respect and dignity.
  7. Individuals may have been compensated for their work, but must also show a greater commitment to community service than simply their employment.
  8. Individuals should share Reverend Wright's dedication to and compassion for civil and human rights and conduct their daily life consistent with these values.
  9. Members of the Department of Civil Rights, staff, Commissions and/or volunteers will not be eligible to receive the award

Awards Presentation 

The Award(s) will be presented at the second City Council meeting in June. Two plaques will be designed for each award. One will be housed in the DCR offices and the names of recipients will be added annually. The second will be presented to the award recipient(s).


Nominations are allowed year-round. Nominees will be added to an applicant pool for up to two (2) years, where the Commission may select future award recipients. Nominations must be made in writing using the nomination form, and the respective nominations must be postmarked, faxed, or emailed by 4:30pm on the deadline to be considered for the designated award year. Nominations should contain adequate detail to allow staff to determine that the candidate meets the award criteria, particularly highlighting the way the individual has performed work they have not been compensated for. A resume will not suffice. Additional research will not be conducted.

Awards Selection 

Equal Opportunities Division staff will receive the nominations and convene the Equal Opportunities Commission to select the recipient(s).