LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has been chosen as one of five recipients of the Profile in Courage Award from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation.
The award is presented to public servants who have made courageous decisions of conscience without regard for the personal or professional consequences.
"I am deeply moved and grateful for this recognition of our work in Michigan to ensure every voice is heard, every vote is counted, and our democracy prevails against the unprecedented attempts to interfere with our elections and upend the will of the people," said Benson. "I share this award with every Michigander who is working to protect and defend our democracy in the face of a barrage of lies, hateful rhetoric, and threats, and I hope this emboldens all of us to continue doing that work, even as the challenges intensify in the months and years ahead."
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation is also recognizing Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, U.S. Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa), and Fulton County, Georgia Election Department Employee Wandrea "Shaye" Moss with the prestigious award.
"There is no more important issue facing our country - and the world - today than the fight for democracy. The war in Ukraine has shown the world that we can't take freedom for granted, and the courage of our elected officials in the U.S. reminds us that as citizens we each have a responsibility to protect our democracy and exercise our fundamental right to vote. This year's honorees put their careers and lives on the line to stand up for democratic principles and the integrity of our elections. Their service and courage inspire us all," said Caroline Kennedy, daughter of former president John F. Kennedy and honorary president of the foundation.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston on May 22.
Benson also announced on Thursday that her administration is also being recognized by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC).
The Michigan Department of State took prizes in the categories of Improving Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities and Outstanding Innovation in Election Cybersecurity and Technology in the EAC National Clearinghouse Awards.
Two other department projects earned honorable mentions from the EAC – the Bureau of Elections' reapportionment tool that assists clerks as they update district lines, and the department’s Democracy MVP program, which recruits volunteers to serve as election workers statewide.
You can learn more about each awardee on the EAC’s website.