As a classroom teacher for more than 30 years, Reg Weaver saw the toll poverty takes on students. He saw poverty’s negative impact on student learning. Weaver was famous for dipping into his own pocket to buy a student a winter coat, a meal, or school supplies. And when he became President of NEA, he kept the spotlight on the plight of poor students.

NEA presents the Reg Weaver Human and Civil Rights Award to a nominee whose activities around closing the poverty gaps for children in America and around the world have made a significant impact in helping poor students and eliminating poverty. To be eligible for this award, the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Educate the public about the issues related to the impact of poverty on children.
  • Inspire public engagement in the elimination of poverty.
  • Work actively to improve the economic opportunities for all people.
  • Promote public policy that positively affects the economic health and welfare of families.
  • Work in partnership with other agencies/groups to give a voice to those marginalized by poverty.
  • Help schools develop programs that enhance the education, social, and emotional health of children in economically depressed areas and/or areas of high concentration of poverty.

Awarded in odd- and even-numbered years.

2021 HCR Awards Honorees