Boston, MA (PRWEB) November 28, 2011
The Petra Foundation welcomed four new fellows to its growing network of human rights heroes on Saturday, November 19, at its 23rd annual celebration of leaders who are making distinctive contributions to human rights and social justice.
The 2011 Petra Fellows were recognized for their innovative work on behalf of pregnant and parenting teens low-wage restaurant workers prison inmates and their households bearing the brunt of ?tough on crime? political posturing and the indigenous people of Guam, whose 30-mile-long island is about to be swamped by a $ 15-billion U.S. military develop-up.
?With no individual privilege, and in the face of enormous obstacles, these leaders are not only improving the lives of those in their communities but they are operating to bring about the alterations that will add up to shared prosperity and opportunity in America,? stated Petra director Meg Fidler. ?We are honored to have them join us, and thrilled by the warm welcome they have received in Cambridge, where the foundation initial launched 23 years ago.?
Keynoter Michael Patrick MacDonald, peace activist and author of All Souls, his award-winning memoir of growing up in South Boston, also paid tribute to the honorees: ?Petra Fellows stand as a challenge to us to spend attention to the violence of poverty and injustice and to transform that pain into healing and hope. Their achievements do not permit us to just applaud, but they call on every of us to act, as citizens of the globe, to impact adjust wherever we are.?
The 2011 Petra Fellows are:
Julian Aquon, Chamoru Indian human rights activist from Guam, is employing national and international legal advocacy, community organizing and important scholarship to shield the atmosphere and insure the cultural survival of indigenous peoples in the Pacific Islands in the face of massive waves of development and militarization.
Nikki Lewis, co-founder of the Restaurant Opportunities Center in Washington, DC, put
her initial-hand expertise of the occupational segregation, low-wages, lack of positive aspects and labor abuses to organize a rapidly growing workers center that is playing a role in the national movement for workplace justice.
Benita Miller, founding director of Brooklyn Young Mothers Collective, left her job as a juvenile rights lawyer to design a new model that enables disadvantaged teenage mothers not only to make transformational alterations in their own lives and break the cycle of generational poverty, but also to grow to be skilled advocates who are reframing the public response to pregnant and parenting teens.
Lillie Branch-Kennedy, co-founder of the Community Restoration Campaign, and founding director of Resource Info Support for the Disadvantaged, has taken on the full range of hardships encountered by prisoners and their households, from supporting youngsters of incarcerated parents to lobbying for restoration of parole and voting rights and against the practice of filling Virginia?s ?supermax? cells ? and state coffers ? by importing prisoners from as far away as Hawaii.
To see videos of every winner, please visit http://www.youtube.com/thepetrafoundation.
Every year because 1988, through a national search and nomination procedure, Petra has identified and championed unsung leaders who are making distinctive contributions to the rights, autonomy and dignity of the millions who are marginalized in America.
In addition to giving Petra Fellows a personal economic award, the foundation sustains its commitment to them, promoting their nearby models to national prominence, fostering their collaborations and leveraging the energy of a growing network of activists, advocates and policymakers on their behalf.
Much more info on the foundation and the 90 Petra Fellows operating in 31 states, Indian Nations and U.S. territories is at http://www.petrafoundation.org.
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