The champions of change in our communities rarely receive the credit they deserve. The road to change is long, and it’s important to take a few stops along the way to give recognition to those who make that change possible. That’s why we take that much-needed pit stop once a year to honor those who have dedicated their lives to making progress towards social justice a reality. Since 2005, we have honored leaders from diverse fields who dedicate themselves to changing the conditions that create poverty and inequity, and who work to build power in low-income communities and communities of color at our Change Champions Awards Ceremony. This year’s honorees are diverse in background and work, but what they have in common is their dedication to social justice, no matter how hard the fight.
The Champion in Community Activism honoree is actress Sonja Sohn, who is well known for her work in the HBO hit “The Wire.” Sohn was inspired to use her celebrity in a positive way to start ReWired for Change. This organization is focused on improving the lives of high-risk youth, adults, and families living in disadvantaged areas. Her long-term goals are centered on creating a holistic, all-inclusive approach to sustainable individual and community healing and empowerment.
The Champion in Community Leadership award will go to Paulette Meyer and David Friedman, who have been leaders in the progressive movement for three decades as workers, activists, board members, and donors. Their personal philanthropy focuses on economic and asset development, community organizing, human rights, and the environment.
The Champion in Labor Partnership award is going to Communications Workers of America. CWA has committed to building a broad-based movement for social and economic justice in America through their role in the creation of Jobs with Justice and partnerships with civil rights organizations. This award will be given in memory of Seth Rosen, Vice President for District 5, who unexpectedly passed away this year.
The Champion in Community Organizing Award will go to the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, a statewide organization that unites community organizing groups, labor unions, faith organizations, and policy institutes across the state. The ideas of the power of long-term alliance in like organizations, the importance of innovation in community organizing to address every faction involved, and the significance of starting these changes in the Midwest are the values that guide the OOC’s work.
For more information on the event, click here: http://www.changechampions.org/awards/