A&T Awards Human Rights MedalCourtesy N.C. A&T State University / February 1, 2024
The 2024 Human Rights Medal, the North Carolina A&T State University’s highest honor for contributions to civil rights, civil liberties and/or human rights, was awarded to Naeema Muhammad, Senior Advisor of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network (NCEJN). The network seeks to promote health and environmental equality for all people of North Carolina. Muhammad is also a founding member of BWFJ (Black Workers for Justice) in North Carolina, a community-based organization that has been addressing workers’ rights issues since 1981. Muhammad has extensive experience in community organizing and in community-based participatory research, especially regarding waste from industrial hog operations.
As a collaborator on two NIEHS grants – the Community Health and Environmental Reawakening (CHER) and Community Health Effects of Industrial Hog Operations (CHEIHO) projects – Muhammad has coordinated environmental monitoring and data collection; conducted interviews; and implemented environmental justice education. Naeema Muhammad is the widow of Saladin Muhammad after 56 years of marriage, and they fought for justice all along.
She believes their work will lead to better lives for their families, including their three children, nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.