According to a press release issued by the Colorado office of ADL, Ritter received the award because he
has devoted his career to public service, and has provided unwavering support for civil rights for all Coloradans. He was Denver's District Attorney for twelve years, where he fought for the expansion and enforcement of hate crimes laws. Since his election in 2006 as Colorado's 41st Governor, Gov. Ritter has supported and signed into law expansions of Colorado’s employment discrimination, public accommodations and housing laws to include sexual orientation. Most recently, he opposed a ballot proposal that would have ended public affirmative action programs in Colorado.
The ADL also honored Roz Duman, coordinator of the Colorado Coalition for Genocide Awareness and Action (CCGAA), for her work to "end complacency towards and raise awareness of genocides past, present and future." CCGAA has sponsored conferences and exhibits and worked with state policymakers to expose and confront genocide around the world.