Sunday, July 1, 2012

NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards

I attended the NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards Banquet this evening. It is an inspiring night honoring people and groups from around the country who have forwarded the ideals of human and civil rights and social justice. The stories are amazing! It was most inspiring to hear the wife of the late Reverend Abernathy, who helped Martin Luther King in Montgomery, speak about her memories of Rosa Parks, the bus boycott that lasted 381 days (one day then one week at a time), and how the white women who had black help wanted the boycott to end so they didn't have to go pick up their help anymore. One winner works with his students to foster international understanding. Another works to educate the public about the Underground Railroad, which his ancestors traveled to freedom. A teacher in California works with dual enrollment and working with parents of immigrant students. An attorney helps immigrants work toward becoming naturalized citizens. A couple of winners helped minorities and alternative high school students see the value of and their ability to attend college. A 14 year old student, who is gay, defended one of his teachers who asked a student to leave class for making an anti-gay remark. These are just a few of the amazing stories we learned about. If you know of a person or group that is making a difference in human and civil rights and social justice for disadvantaged groups, I would love to help you nominate them for one of these awards for next year.

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