Press Release

April 28, 2011

BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) will receive the Whitney Young Award from the Greater Baltimore Urban League at their annual Whitney M. Young Gala on Friday, April 29.  The award honors Senator Cardin’s record of accomplishment advocating for civil rights and his work advancing the Urban League’s mission of equal opportunity. 

“Whitney Young was a forceful and dynamic civil rights leader who dedicated his life to championing equality, and I’m honored to receive this award named in his honor,” said Senator Cardin.  “As a Senator, I strive to create and enact laws that make our nation’s promise of equality under the law a reality for all Americans.  I am proud to partner with the Urban League as we move towards the goal of achieving social and economic equality for African Americans and all minorities.” 

Throughout his career, Senator Cardin has been a leader on civil rights.  He is a lifetime memberof the NAACP, and in the 110th and 111th Congress he received a grade of “A” for his voting record from the civil rights organization.  In the Senate, he also introduced legislation that would criminalize voter intimidation and impose criminal penalties on deceptive election practices.  These practices are often aimed at minority communities and are designed to suppress the vote. 

As a member of the Senate’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, Senator Cardin has made expanding opportunities for minority business owners a priority.  His legislation to increase access to contracts for small businesses and extend higher loans limits on the Small Business Administration’s Loan Program were enacted into law. 

The Whitney Young Award is named for the former president of the National Urban League, who is credited with bringing the organization to the forefront of the civil rights movement.  Since 1924, the Greater Baltimore Urban League has focused on ensuring equal opportunity in employment, education, health care, housing and other areas.