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Betye Saar | 2022 W. E. B. Du Bois Medalist

The W. E. B. Du Bois Medal will be awarded to seven honorees “who embody the values of commitment and resolve that are fundamental to the Black experience in America” for their contributions to African and African American culture, the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research announced on Wednesday.

“Whether they’ve distinguished themselves in the arts, civic life, education, athletics, activism, or any combination of the above, these medalists show in all that they do their unyielding commitment to pushing the boundaries of representation and creating opportunities for advancement and participation for people who have been too often shut out from the great promise of our times,” said Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center, in a statement.

This year’s honorees include basketball legend, cultural critic, and activist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, distinguished writer and feminist Chimamanda Adichie, LGBTQ advocate and groundbreaking actress Laverne Cox, philanthropist and patron of the arts and education Agnes Gund, business trailblazer Raymond J. McGuire, former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and pioneering artist and visual storyteller Betye Saar.