dr. hunter naacp gala with students copy

Dr. Noelle Hunter with UAH students Christian Williams (left) and Joshua Thomspon (right).

Photo Credit Obsidian Creative Studios

The Alabama NAACP Humanitarian Award "honors community activists who have made significant contributions in the lives of others." Dr. Noelle Hunter, Lecturer in Political Science, was nominated by Joshua Thompson, president of the Alabama NAACP Youth & College Division. Mr. Thompson is a current student in Hunter’s PSC 304 American Presidency class. In addition, the Vice President of the Alabama NAACP Youth & College Division, Christian Williams, was also a student in Dr. Hunter’s PSC 101 in the Fall 2019 semester. He supported Joshua's nomination of Hunter for this award. 

“In class, I often relate some of my intergovernmental, nonprofit and community engagement experiences to help students envision how courses in political science have real-world applicability. In particular, I shared my experiences as a co-founder of iStand Parent Network Inc. a 501c3 that empowers parents to return their children from international parental child abduction (IPCA) and advocates for public policy reform on this issue.” 

Dr. Hunter’s work in iStand, has contributed to the return or reunification of 47 American children with their parents, families and communities. “My work comes from my personal experience in which my daughter was internationally abducted by her father from Kentucky to Mali, West Africa in 2011. For 2.5 years I leveraged every resource, including my background in journalism, political science, public administration and international relations to bring her home. She came home in July 2014 with strong help from the U.S. government, including U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the U.S. State Dept. and officials in the Malian government.” 

When reflecting on winning this year’s NAACP Humanitarian Award, Dr. Hunter says, “I am deeply, deeply honored to receive this award. My relationship with the NAACP spans several decades. As a student in high school in Dothan, Alabama, I called upon the local chapter of the NAACP when there was a situation with discriminatory behavior among teachers at that school. My 2005 doctoral dissertation was about the NAACP's persistence and evolution in the post-Civil Rights era and I consider them to be an enduring and effective organization and a testament to the enduring power of collective action for equality, justice and social change. Thus, to receive such a great honor  from this venerable organization is humbling and also represents a higher call to action to continue their work through the skills and abilities that I have.” 

Dr. Hunter received the award on February 28th at the Alabama NAACP Gala hosted in Montgomery, AL. In addition, Dr. Hunter has been asked to serve as the co-advisor for the Alabama NAACP Youth & College Division. 

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