Saturday, June 27, 2009

Inspiration for us all

Every year at the RA, a group of outstanding educators and activists are honored for their dedication, selflessness and for overcoming great obstacles as they strive to create a better world.

The NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards program honors individuals and organizations that promote peace and social and economic justice.

Who are recognizing the year?

Los Angeles, Calif., educator and civil rights activist C. Jerome Woods with the Association's Carter G. Woodson Memorial Award.

Nine young men from Wichita, Kan., all under the age of 20, created a fundraising relay team called Never Ignore, Never Forget to increase awareness and raise money to support efforts to stop genocide worldwide. NEA will honor their efforts with the presentation of the Association's SuAnne Big Crow Memorial Award.

Clara Luper, an Oklahoma City civil rights activist, author, and former high school history teacher, will be presented with the National Education Association's Rosa Parks Memorial Award.

Vida Sue Stabler, the Title VII Indian Education Program director at the Umonhon Nation Public School, is being recognized for her work to save and revitalize the culture and language of the Umonhon (Omaha) tribe.
Check out some of last years winners!

Leroy King is being honored for decades of his work to achieve social justice and a better life for working families in San Francisco. King, a leader with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and civil rights activist, will receive NEA's Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Award.

For her work in bringing attention to the plight of interned Japanese Americans, Dr. Johanna Miller Lewis, a historian from Little Rock, Ark., will receive the Ellison S. Onizuka Memorial Award.

Tampa educator, Dr. Walter L. Smith, will receive the Applegate-Dorros Peace and International Understanding Award as a result of his extensive work to bring educational opportunities and leadership to Africa, as well as his longtime work with historically Black colleges and universities in the United States.

Mary Jane Karger, a retired social worker with 31 years of experience in the Carmel Central School District in Patterson, N.Y., is being honored for her work over the last decade to make sure the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students in Patterson's public schools are safe and treated with understanding and equity.
Dr. Paul R. Hubbert and Dr. Joe L. Reed, longtime leaders of the Alabama Education Association, will each receive the H. Councill Trenholm Memorial Award.

The Trenholm awards are given annually to recipients, one White and the other African-American, who have expanded educational opportunities for minority students and educators, and improved intergroup relations in public schools.

The National Education Association will posthumously present the Association's César Chávez Acción y Compromiso Human and Civil Rights Award to Ah Quon McElrath of Hawaii.

McElrath was born the sixth of seven children of Chinese immigrant parents in Iwilei, Hawaii, on December 15, 1915. From her childhood years until her death 93 years later in 2008, McElrath was always interested in the welfare of others. Much of her adult life was spent as a social worker for the International Longshoremen's and Warehouse Union (ILWU).

Find out more about these outstanding lives.

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