2024 Strengthening Democracy Awards

Join Civic Nebraska in honoring five outstanding Nebraskans who strengthen our democracy in remarkable ways. We invite you to join us for an evening celebrating the power of collective voice with Tennessee Rep. Justin J. Pearson, whose experience being ousted from office for using his voice speaks to the urgency of being loud and clear – even in the face of oppression.

We’ll be celebrating at the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts in Lincoln this year – and we’re eager for you to join us! 

June 27, 2024

5 to 7 pm CDT

Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts

1300 Q St., Lincoln

Heavy hors d’oeuvres provided
Justin J. Pearson, District 86 State Representative from Tennessee
Justin J. Pearson of Memphis is a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives. He was elected in 2023, at 28 years old. When a mass shooter killed six people at The Covenant School in Nashville on March 27, 2023, Pearson and two fellow representatives staged a protest on the statehouse floor for common-sense gun legislation. Lawmakers retaliated by expelling Pearson and another representative, but local government panels in Memphis and Nashville reinstated them days later. Pearson again ran for the seat in August and handily won it back.
Pearson graduated from Bowdoin College in 2017 with degrees in government and legal studies as well as education studies. Pearson co-founded Memphis Community Against the Pipeline, now known as Memphis Community Against Pollution. The group defeated a multibillion-dollar crude oil pipeline project that would have risked Memphis’ drinking water and taken property from South Memphis residents. The Sierra Club honored Pearson as its 2023 National Changemaker of the Year, and The Root included him in its list of the 100 Most Influential Black Americans 2023.


Civic Nebraska will honor five Nebraskans whose acts help to build a more modern and robust democracy for all, and is accepting nominations from the public through May 17, 2024. 


A Nebraskan who connects others, creates collaborations, or builds coalitions toward a shared goal or issue.


A Nebraskan who embraces transformative ideas and puts them into action on behalf of democracy.

Champion of

A Nebraskan who builds a more informed and engaged democracy, and who advances learning as an act of civic engagement. 

Young Civic

A Nebraskan under 25 who is not waiting to make an impact, and knows that people of all ages can make positive change.

Defender of 

A Nebraskan who leads change in their community by connecting others to the power of registering to vote and to voting.

Civic Nebraska News


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