Bob Woodson Wins Heritage’s 2020 Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship

Bob Woodson Wins Heritage’s 2020 Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship

Dec 9, 2020 2 min read

WASHINGTON — The Heritage Foundation presented Bob Woodson with its 2020 Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship during the organization’s annual President’s Club Meeting in honor of his work to protect and advance American values through building stronger communities across our country.

The Salvatori Prize is given by Heritage every year to an individual or organization that embodies and advances the virtues of the American founding. It is given in the memory of immigrant, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and dedicated conservative activist Henry Salvatori.

Heritage President Kay C. James released the following statement on Woodson’s selection for this prestigious award:

“For five decades, Bob has devoted himself to an incredible cause: the transformation from the inside out of individuals, schools, and troubled neighborhoods. His efforts to combat the scourge of drugs and alcohol and to create violence-free zones have radically transformed the lives of tens of thousands of people in cities across the country.


“Bob has also provided important counsel to presidents, governors, and federal and state legislators time and again. His fingerprints are all over legislation that has made Americans safer, freer, more hopeful in their local communities.


“Bob has been an invaluable partner to Heritage in promoting policies that build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish, including as a critical member of Heritage’s National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, where he played a vital role in crafting recommendations to protect both the lives and livelihoods of Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.


“Bob truly embodies Henry Salvatori’s vision for building a better America for the next generation.”

Woodson said he was humbled to receive the Salvatori Prize and thanked James for her longtime friendship:

“I want to thank Kay James, head of The Heritage Foundation, for this award. Kay and I go back many, many years when she first came to Washington, D.C., and we labored together in helping our country.


“The Heritage Foundation has been critical to the history of The Woodson Center. I’ve walked side by side with Heritage, so I’m just delighted I’ve been given the Salvatori award. He was a marvelous man and a person who put principle above friendships and put the country first.”

Woodson founded the Woodson Center in 1981 to help residents of low-income neighborhoods address the problems of their communities. A former civil rights activist, he has headed the National Urban League Department of Criminal Justice, and has been a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Foundation for Public Policy Research. Referred to by many as “godfather” of the neighborhood empowerment movement, for more than four decades, Woodson has had a special concern for the problems of youth. In response to an epidemic of youth violence that has afflicted urban, rural and suburban neighborhoods alike, Woodson has focused much of the Woodson Center’s activities on an initiative to establish Violence-Free Zones in troubled schools and neighborhoods throughout the nation.

The Woodson Center has also devoted its efforts in recent years to combatting the divisive lies and poisonous ideology espoused by the “1619 Project” through a program called “1776 Unites,” which they describe as “a movement to liberate tens of millions of Americans by helping them become agents of their own uplift and transformation, by embracing the true founding values of our country.”

Previous Salvatori Prize recipients include Mollie Hemingway, Tucker Carlson, The Washington Free Beacon, and Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Learn more about the Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship.

As the nation’s largest, most broadly supported conservative research and educational institution, The Heritage Foundation has been leading the American conservative movement since our founding in 1973. More than 500,000 dues-paying members support our vision to build an America where freedom, prosperity, opportunity, and civil society flourish.