The Salem Advocate Award is given to recognized leaders in their field who use their platform to raise voices and advocate for human rights and social justice. They help amplify social injustice issues and provide needed support to enact social change. In doing so they embrace the mission and values of Voices Against Injustice.
Singer songwriter John Legend was the first recipient of The Salem Advocate for Social Justice Award. He was honored for his work to curb mass incarceration and provide access to education through his nonprofit, The Show Me Campaign.
The mission of The Show Me Campaign is "...to give every child access to a quality education. Through programs such as Teach for America, Teach for All, Harlem Village Academies, and New Profit, the Show Me Campaign works to elevate and celebrate teachers, the single most important factor for student achievement in our schools. The campaign also works to end the school-to-prison pipeline and to address systemic issues in our criminal justice system that disproportionately impact the poor, minorities and disadvantaged. Together, these dual strategies aim to give every single child the opportunity to not just survive, but to thrive.”