The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) on Saturday hosted its combined 2017 Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award Program and 25th-anniversary celebration in the Institute at 520 Sixteenth Street North.
The recipients of the Shuttlesworth Award this year were Dr. Richard Arrington, Birmingham’s first African American Mayor (1979- 1999), Harry Belafonte, musician, actor and human rights activist; and Viola Liuzzo, (honored posthumously) a volunteer and civil rights activist from Detroit who was the only white female to die in the struggle.
Belafonte, now 90 years of age, was unable to travel. Several members of Viola Liuzzo’s family were in to Birmingham to receive the award.
The BCRI opened on Nov. 15, 1992, and a number of leaders attended the ceremony including mayor-elect Randall Woodfin, Congresswoman Terri Sewell and U.S. Senate candidate Democrat Doug Jones. Since its opening, more than two million people have visited the BCRI.