The High Point Human Relations Commission is now accepting nominations for its annual Humanitarian of the Year Award.

The term “Humanitarian” is defined in one dictionary as “having concern for or helping to improve the welfare and happiness of people.”

The current Human Relations Commission has a slightly different definition – one weighted toward concern for, and help for, the disenfranchised and underrepresented members of society.

There are plenty of good people in High Point, but the Humanitarian of the Year, as the title implies, must be outstanding in that regard.

Nominations for the award are evaluated by the commission based on, among other things, the “nominee’s past contributions and efforts that benefited traditionally underrepresented individuals and diverse groups.”

In addition, “The nominee’s promotion of equity through his or her work with an employer, faith-based institution, civic group(s) and/or community organizations” will be taken into account in the selection process, as will the nominees’ “commitment to promoting understanding, respect, equity and goodwill among all citizens.”

The city’s Humanitarian of the Year Award was created as a way to honor High Point citizens who’ve made significant contributions to human relations in High Point.

The award will be presented during the city’s Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration early next year.

The annual award got its start in 1982, and some past winners have been: Manilla Dean (2013) for her work at West End Ministries; Charles M. “Fly” McClendon (2012) for many acts such as High Point jail ministry, working with Ward Street Missions and holding Bible studies for substance abusers; Dr. Michael B. Hussey and Betsy Leach (2011) for their selfless service providing medical assistance to the community; and Terry Aiken (2008) for his involvement with Family Services, Kids Voting and the National Conference for Community and Justice.