Sen. Raphael Warnock ‘gracious’ to receive NNPA National Leadership Award

Sen. Raphael Warnock will receive the NNPA National Leadership Award on Sept. 16. (Photo: Raphael Warnock for Senate /

by Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

One day before the unprecedented insurrection at the U.S. Capitol inspired by former President Donald Trump, the United States Senate underwent a sea change.

Thanks to heavy voter turnout – mainly because of the work of Black women – Georgia residents elected Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock to the Senate.

The special election gave Democrats the Senate majority.

For Rev. Warnock, his election provided an unusual opportunity to expand his pulpit from Ebenezer Baptist Church to a nation in need of leadership – and healing.

Sen. Warnock, who counts as the youngest pastor selected to serve in that leadership role at the historic church, will receive the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) 2021 National Leadership Award.

Each year, the NNPA recognizes courageous Americans that have impacted the nation and world in positive ways.

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., the president and CEO of the NNPA, said the Black Press “is saluting excellence and innovative leadership in Black America.”

Sen. Cory Booker, Congresswoman Cori Bush, Drs. James E.K. Hildreth and Ebony Hilton, and record-setting Olympic Champion Allyson Felix also will receive awards.

The NNPA celebrates 81 years as the trusted voice of Black America and 194 years of the Black Press of America.

The National Leadership Awards are virtual this year and scheduled for 7 p.m. EST on Thursday, September 16. Registration is free at

Before the awards, the NNPA will host a special interview with actress Gabrielle Union.
According to NNPA Board members, while the recipients’ career paths may vary, one cannot underestimate the impact of their shared commitment to creating meaningful and beneficial change in the lives of African Americans.

Born in Savannah, Georgia, on July 23, 1969, Sen. Warnock graduated from Morehouse College with a degree in psychology.

He later graduated from Union Theological Seminary in New York.

In less than a year in the U.S. Senate, it’s impossible to overstate Sen. Warnock’s impact.
He serves as a member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. He chairs the subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management, Trade, and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

The Senator also has taken seats on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, the Senate Aging Committee, and the bicameral Joint Economic Committee.

“Thank you to the Black Press of America and the National Newspaper Publishers Association for this gracious award,” Sen. Warnock stated.

“To my brother, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., Chair Karen Carter Richards, National Correspondent Stacy Brown, and the countless others who do the important work to keep our communities informed, engaged, and motivated through these unprecedented times.”

He continued:

“This award is not about me, but the millions of Black Americans in Georgia and across the country who continuously display their courage, perseverance, and fortitude as we navigate increasingly challenging times in our communities and throughout our world. Know that I will continue to do my part in the United States Senate to uplift Georgia voices in the continual march toward what Dr. King called the beloved community.”

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