Actor Samuel L. Jackson will receive a Chairman’s Award during the 53rd NAACP Image Awards, in recognition of his public service and advocacy for social change, the NAACP announced Thursday.

“Samuel L. Jackson is an incredibly talented actor with a remarkable career in film and theater spanning over four decades,” Leon W. Russell, chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors, said in a statement. “Many might not know that prior to his acting career, Jackson was a staunch activist during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, even serving as an usher at Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral. His continued public service and advocacy for social change make him an excellent recipient for the Chairman’s Award.”

According to the organization, the Chairman’s Award recognizes “individuals who demonstrate exemplary public service and use their distinct platforms to create agents of change.”

Past recipients include Danny Glover, Tyler Perry, Rep. John Lewis, Rep. Maxine Waters, Ruby Dee, Tyler Perry and then-Sen. Barack Obama.

The NAACP also announced that its Activist of the Year Award will be presented to Scot X. Esdaile, president of the Connecticut State Conference of NAACP Branches and a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors, honoring his work to ensure proper access to COVID-19 testing, vaccinations and protective equipment for the Black and Latino communities.

The Youth Activist of the Year Award will go to Channing Hill, NAACP Chapter President of Howard University.

All of the honors will be presented during the 53rd Image Awards ceremony Feb. 26.

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