The Hunger Leadership Awards is our annual celebration of outstanding leaders in the movement to end hunger. For this year’s virtual ceremony, held Wednesday, September 16, we are recognizing leaders who prove every day that hunger is solvable.
The recipient of our 2020 Mickey Leland and Bill Emerson Hunger Leadership Award is Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13). Rep. Lee’s dedication to ending hunger and poverty embodies the same values shared by the award’s namesakes during their time in Congress, and which we hope the participants in our leadership development programs carry with them as they take part in the movement to end hunger in the U.S. and around the world.
First elected in 1998 to represent California’s 9th Congressional District, Congresswoman Lee has been a strong proponent of safe communities, addressing hunger, environmental justice, universal health care, just immigration policies, the establishment of a living wage, reproductive health care rights, and affordable housing, including creation of a National Housing Trust Fund. Her accomplishments include authoring or co-authoring every major piece of legislation dealing with global HIV/AIDS issues since she was elected to Congress. After the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the congresswoman was the lone vote against a resolution that gave the President virtually unlimited authority to use force against unspecified organizations, individuals or nations for an unlimited period of time. She has consistently fought to stop endless wars and to reduce conditions that produce conflict and injustice.
Congresswoman Lee is the Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. As member of the House Democratic Leadership, she is the highest ranking African American woman in the U.S. Congress.
My advice to new leaders and young people in the anti-hunger movement is to get involved locally. During this pandemic there is no shortage of people and groups in your community that need your talent and enthusiasm. By addressing hunger you are making a direct impact in people's lives. Stay involved and keep up the important work.Rep. Barbara Lee, 2020 Bill Emerson and Mickey Leland Hunger Leadership Award Recipient