Anna E. Crosslin, president and CEO of the International Institute of St. Louis, has been selected to receive the 2020 Lucile Bluford Lifetime Achievement Award. The award will be presented on Thursday, Dec. 10 at the Missouri Commission on Human Rights' Missouri Human Rights Conference, which is being held virtually.
The Lucile Bluford Lifetime Achievement Award was established by MCHR to recognize individuals who have dedicated their professional and personal lives to advancing human rights in Missouri and has been presented at its International Human Rights Day celebrations since Dec. 7, 2012.
"I have truly enjoyed working with Commissioner Anna Crosslin since her appointment by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon in 2013," said Missouri Commission on Human Rights Executive Director Dr. Alisa Warren.
"Commissioner Crosslin's fervent dedication to our agency's mission has made her a pleasure to work with over the years. She has a strong personal and professional commitment to serving the needs of marginalized communities and has relentlessly promoted equity and inclusion — whether it be for newcomers, workers, or businesses — in an effort to create a stronger Missouri. We are proud to honor her leadership and contributions to the advancement of human rights with this award," she added.
The Lucile Bluford Lifetime Achievement Award was named in honor of the first woman named to the Missouri Commission on Human Rights in 1958. Despite being denied admission to the journalism school of her choice, due to her race, Bluford, who was African-American, went on to become a top journalist and editor in the nation and noted civil rights leader.
"It is a great honor to receive this recognition from my colleagues on the Missouri Commission on Human Rights. Serving on the Commission has been an honor made even more meaningful by the presentation of this award commemorating the extraordinary life of Lucile Bluford, a true pioneer for equal rights for African Americans and women," Crosslin said. "I'm grateful to have been selected for the Bluford award and to join the ranks of such a prestigious list of past recipients."
Crosslin has led the International Institute of St. Louis since 1978. Recently, she announced that she will retire in March 2021.
Founded in 1919, the Institute provides English classes, job placement, counseling, micro-lending, refugee resettlement, and other integrative services to more than 6,000 immigrants from 75 countries annually.
She has been instrumental in the founding and operation of the St. Louis Mosaic Project, serving on the Steering Committee and as chair of its Infrastructure Committee. Crosslin also serves on the Board of the National Asian Pacific Centers for Aging (Seattle) and is a board member of the St. Louis Regional Chamber.