Harper Councill Trenholm (1900–1963) served for 21 years as executive secretary of the American Teachers Association (ATA). One of the country’s most outstanding Black educators, he helped build ATA’s numbers and strength and worked for the merger of ATA and NEA.

NEA presents two H. Councill Trenholm Memorial Awards, one to a Black educator and one to a non-Black educator. To be eligible for this award, the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Must be an educator.
  • Work beyond the call of duty to free the education profession from inequities based on race or ethnicity.
  • Help improve intergroup relations and understanding among racial and ethnic groups.
  • Secure community recognition for his or her contributions to intergroup relations.
  • Form education coalitions with non-education groups.

Awarded to a non-Black recipient in odd-numbered years, and a Black recipient in even-numbered years.

2021 HCR Awards Honorees