The Rev. Al Sharpton was at Philadelphia's City Council hearing Thursday to receive a commendation.
The citation, presented by Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, honored Sharpton for his work as a "voice of justice for the voiceless."
"Let me say that it is a very very moving experience to have this happen, particularly in Philadelphia," Sharpton said Thursday, noting he's been coming to Philadelphia since his pre-teen years "for many reasons."
"To know that your work has caught the attention by those that have been elected and trusted by the people in this city is more than I can express in words," Sharpton said.
"I was raised by a single mother whose best friend lived in Philadelphia, and I wish they were alive to see this."
Sharpton said he fights for the marginalized and rejected because "in our society, no one should be rejected," noting everyone should have equal opportunities in all arenas, from jobs to elections.
"I'm here because of my deep, deep appreciation for that, and I'm also here because I wanted to see a government that was open and working today," Sharpton said.
Sharpton will also appear Thursday at the Free Library of Philadelphia to promote his new book, The Rejected Stone.