Compassion & Choices Announces Winner of 2022 Rev. Dr. Paul Smith Award

February 18, 2022

Longtime advocate and board member Rev. Madison Shockley was selected for the honor, which is named for civil rights leader and end-of-life movement pioneer Smith.

Compassion & Choices announced the Rev. Dr. Paul Smith Award in honor of civil rights leader and end-of-life options advocate Rev. Dr. Paul Smith. Rev. Dr. Smith was the inaugural recipient of the award and is at the vanguard of advocating for improving end-of-life options for all.

This year’s award was presented to Rev. Madison Shockley for his unwavering commitment to improving end-of-life care and options in his community and beyond. Rev. Shockley is the pastor at Pilgrim United Church of Christ (UCC) in Carlsbad, California.

The award will be given annually to a faith leader who is dedicated to the end-of-life options movement. Faith leaders of every denomination have a unique challenge and opportunity to discuss end-of-life issues with their constituents and communities. They have always played a critical role in end-of-life advocacy, as evidenced by Rev. Dr. Paul Smith’s role in early efforts to pass medical aid-in-dying legislation.

Rev. Dr. Smith has been critical in reaching new audiences and engaging the Black community in these important conversations. Rev. Shockley, a member of the Compassion & Choices board of directors, continues this tradition and is committed to a vision of a diverse, equitable and inclusive movement, and recognizes that everyone should have access to a patient-directed end-of-life experience regardless of their ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or age.

Rev. Shockley is also a member of the Compassion & Choices African American Leadership Council, served on the Compassion & Choices Strategic Impact Committee and lends his voice to end-of-life education and planning efforts, including in virtual events and educational videos.

“Rev. Madison Shockley has been and continues to be a transformational figure in this movement,” said Kim Callinan, president and CEO of Compassion & Choices. “His powerful voice has lifted the issue of end-of-life in new ways and has been vital to helping many, many people explore and talk about their own end-of-life wishes and preferences. His impact is extensive, from his work in service to his congregation to his role in the authorization and reauthorization of the California End of Life Option Act, to his service on the Compassion & Choices board of directors. Rev Shockley is a powerful voice for the end-of-life movement.”

Rev. Shockley’s support was integral to the passage of California’s End of Life Option Act. Beyond California, Rev. Shockley has participated in rallies and lobbying efforts in numerous states over the years. He has also participated in countless events and educational opportunities encouraging the Black community and beyond to make end-of-life planning a priority.

“Since I first met Rev. Shockley in 2009, he has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to our mission,” said Brandi Alexander, national director of community engagement at Compassion & Choices. “He cares deeply about providing education and resources to all communities and empowering others to do the same.”

Compassion & Choices
Media Contacts

Sean Crowley
Media Relations Director
[email protected]

Patricia A. González-Portillo
National Latino Media Director
[email protected]
(323) 819 0310

Compassion & Choices
8156 S Wadsworth Blvd #E-162
Littleton, CO 80128

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VICTORY: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed the improved End-of-Life Options Act.