WASHINGTON -- A New Orleans community organizer who has fought for the poorest victims of Hurricane Katrina received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award on Wednesday.
Stephen Bradberry is the first black American bestowed the honor, which typically goes to activists overseas.
The 45-year-old Chicago native is the lead organizer for the New Orleans chapter of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.
"I certainly don't consider the things I do to be anything extraordinary," Bradberry said at a Capitol Hill ceremony where he was presented with the award by Kennedy's brother, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
"It's just a matter of putting on my pants and going to work every day," Bradberry said.
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., told Bradberry, "You deserve this day in the sun," noting that his social activism plays to Robert Kennedy's vision of a better world.
"Somewhere there's always been people like Steve Bradberry who believe that this isn't the way it's supposed to be," Obama said. "People who believe that while evil and suffering will always exist, this is a country that has been fueled by small miracles and boundless dreams."
Sen. Kennedy praised Bradberry for engaging himself in a contemporary civil rights cause.
"For a new generation of Americans who did not live through the civil rights movement or the Vietnam War or Watergate, Katrina was their apocalypse," Kennedy said.
Bradberry is the 22nd recipient of the award honoring the former senator, U.S. attorney general and presidential candidate.
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