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NASS Awards Bryan Stevenson with Margaret Chase Smith Award


Monday, February 8, 2021 – MONTGOMERY – Last week, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) hosted their annual winter conference virtually.

Each year, Secretaries of State nominate individuals for the Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award. Nominees are recognized for their individual acts of political courage and selflessness in public service.

NASS announced earlier today that Bryan Stevenson, Public Interest Lawyer and Founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, was presented with the 2020 Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award.

“We are incredibly proud of the work that has been completed in our state and in the country through the leadership and courage of Bryan Stevenson. His pursuit of freedom and equal opportunity for those who have been wrongfully convicted or treated poorly while in prison has resulted in the saving of hundreds of lives. His education and advocacy efforts to restore voting rights have significantly contributed to our democratic process through establishing a path for re-entry into society. Our country is a better place because of his service and vision for equality, and I am honored to call him a friend,” stated Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill who nominated Stevenson for the award.

Stevenson has founded and led numerous civil rights initiatives such as the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice – all housed in Montgomery, Alabama.

“His work to advocate for the voiceless is the epitome of democracy. He is beyond worthy of commendation, and I am grateful that my colleagues at NASS have recognized his many contributions to our society,” concluded Merrill.