Recipient of President Biden’s Lifetime Achievement Award Offers Hope with Spiritual Guide to Racial Trauma Restoration

Morehouse Publishing
Posted Dec 12, 2022

Like many, Catherine Meeks, winner of The President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest civil volunteerism award presented by POTUS, has read the headlines, watched the cellphone videos, engaged in the conversations about racism, and thoughtfully considered the outward forces at work. However, she asserts that something different must be done—by looking inward and at each other, she argues, good people of all backgrounds can forge a long-term and individual path to making a difference, from embracing self-awareness to recognizing the past to forming a new and individual way forward.

In her book The Night is Long but Light Comes in the Morning, Meeks offers keen insights for anyone struggling with the issues of racial injustice. She draws from personal stories and wisdom born from over four decades of working to dismantle hate. Some of the reflective truths she shares include:

  • What it will take for the United States to achieve racial healing
  • The difference between a racial ally and a pilgrim
  • How to be courageous in the world of Cancel Culture
  • How to have real conversations about race and racial healing
  • Why DEI initiatives fail to address the issues in the workplace
  • The real meaning of social justice

Filled with practical action steps to having difficult conversations and potential solutions for healing the racial divide, The Night is Long, but Light Comes in the Morning also features reflective thoughts from the author’s life.

Meeks writes, “In the United States we are failing quite successfully at achieving racial healing. We have invested time, energy, and money to make things better, yet in some respects, the racial divisiveness is more profound at this present moment.” She also added, “Hope for racial healing lies in our willingness to say yes to the multiple invitations that we receive throughout our lifetime to search for new ways to see. Racism is designed to control, and it will become completely untenable when we begin to live intentionally.”


Catherine Meeks, PhD is the Executive Director of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing. A sought-after teacher and workshop leader, Catherine brings four decades of experience to the work of dismantling racism.

A retired Clara Carter Acree Distinguished Professor of Socio-Cultural Studies from Wesleyan College and Founding Executive Director of the Lane Center for Community Engagement and Service, she is frequently asked to present commentaries on Georgia Public Radio and other radio and television programs. Meeks is the author of six books and editor of the bestselling book Living Into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America. She holds a master’s degree in Social Work from Clark Atlanta University and a PhD from Emory University.