Nomination for the Presidential Citizenship Medal

In April 2014, then U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana nominated Dr. Simpkins for the Presidential Citizenship Medal which is the nation's second highest civilian honor. In her appointment letter, she noted that, consistent with Presidential Executive Order 11494, Dr. Simpkins clearly “performed exemplary deeds of service" for this country and his fellow citizens. Furthermore, she indicated that, as with others receiving his honor, he had a meaningful and lasting impact on the lives of others.

Dr. Simpkins accomplishments that meet the criteria of service to America are numerous. He has:

  • Demonstrated a profound commitment to service on his communities and points farther from home
  • Helped his country and fellow citizens through extraordinary acts demonstrated notable skill and grace
  • Placed himself in harm’s way taken unusual risks or steps to protect the rights of others
  • Made extraordinary efforts to further a national goal, and conducted himself admirably when faced with unusually challenging circumstances
  • Engaged in activities that have had an impact in their local community, other communities and communities across the United States
  • Offered service which has had a sustained impact on others’ lives and provided inspiration for others to serve.

Recognition from the City of Shreveport

In 2013, the North Louisiana Civil Rights Coalition sponsored a week-long celebration and series of educational events. Following that citywide initiative, the Honorable Cedric Glover, Mayor of Shreveport, addressed the City Council and he said of Dr. Simpkins:

“As mentioned this past week was the 50th Anniversary of the exact date that the Dr. Rev. Harry Blake was assaulted at the Little Union Baptist Church. At that particular event, I guess represents probably the greatest image of the Civil Rights struggle here in the City of Shreveport as many over the years have seen that picture of him laid down by the blows that were landed on that day, but that was an event that was surrounded by a series of efforts throughout the course of 1963....(Click here to continue)

Honors & Recognition

  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Grambling State University, May 2009
  • Dedication of the 100 through the 1100 blocks of Allen Avenue in honor of Dr. C. O. Simpkins, DDS, by the City of Shreveport, August, 2014]
  • Re-naming of the Willis-Knighton Health System North Shreveport community health center as the Simpkins Community Health Center & Education Center, 2013
  • City of Shreveport City Council – Ceremonial Bugle Award, 2013
  • City of Shreveport Fire Department Ceremonial Ax Award, 2013
  • National Dental Association Civil Rights Award, 1994
  • Arthritis Foundation Humanitarian Award, 1992
  • Commencement Speaker, York College of the City University of New York, 1991
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Civil Rights Award, 1990
  • Martin Luther King Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Civil Rights Movement, 1989
  • Louisiana State Beauticians Award for Achievement in Civil Rights, 1989
  • Southern University Leader of the Year Award, 1989
  • National Dental Association Civil Rights Award, 1970
  • NAACP First Civil Rights Award, 1970
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