David Simon and Pam Grier among 2016 W.E.B. Du Bois Medalists

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Pam Grier and Jessye Norman are among those who will be honored at the fourth annual Hutchins Center Honors. They, along with the 1966 Texas Western Miners Men’s Basketball Team, the first all-black starting lineup to win an NCAA national championship, and others will be honored with the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal. The Hutchins Center Honors, presented by the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University, will take place on Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. in Sanders Theatre, Memorial Hall, 45 Quincy St., Cambridge, Mass.

The medal honors those who have made significant contributions to African and African American history and culture, and more broadly individuals who advocate for intercultural understanding and human rights in an increasingly global and interconnected world.

Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center, said, “The Hutchins Center is driven by the guiding spirit of W.E.B. Du Bois, Harvard’s first black Ph.D., who gave us so many gifts, but chief among them were his spirit of inquiry and his illumination of hidden histories and achievements, both of individuals and groups. This year’s medalists exemplify the Du Boisian sense of curiosity and revelation.”

Glenn H. Hutchins, co-founder and managing director of the private equity firm Silver Lake and the chairman of the National Advisory Board of the Hutchins Center, said, “The study of the history of people of color—as well as their inclusion today—is central, not peripheral, to Harvard’s mission. No place engages in this pursuit more broadly, deeply, or rigorously than the Hutchins Center. This year’s Hutchins Center Honors recognizes and celebrates transcendent contributions to this endeavor across disciplines, arenas, purposes and decades.”

The 2016 W.E.B. Du Bois Medal recipients are:

  • Ursula M. Burns, chairman and chief executive officer of Xerox Corporation.
  • David L. Evans, Senior Admissions Officer, Harvard University.
  • Pam Grier, actor and activist.
  • Lana “MC Lyte” Moorer, hiphop artist and activist.
  • The 1966 Texas Western Miners Men’s Basketball Team, represented by players David Lattin and Willie Worsley.
  • Jessye Norman, opera soprano and recitalist.
  • David Simon, writer and producer.

The Hutchins Center includes the W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute; the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art; the Hiphop Archive & Research Institute; the Afro-Latin American Research Institute; the Project on Race & Cumulative Adversity; the Project on Race & Gender in Science & Medicine; the History Design Studio; the Image of the Black Archive & Library; the Jazz Research Initiative; and two publications, Transition and the Du Bois Review.