May 2, 2013 – City National Grove of Anaheim
On May 2, 2013 at the City National Grove of Anaheim, OC Human Relations brought together over 500 of Orange County’s diverse community and business leaders for AWARDS 42, a special gala event that honored the outstanding human relations efforts of seldom-recognized individuals, model community policing programs and exemplary school programs that create safe and inclusive environments for Orange County’s students and residents. As well as the presentation of the awards, the evening featured entertainment provided by Tupau Productions and the Ron Kobayashi Trio and a speechby the 2013 YouthSpeak contest winner, Vanessa Le.
The 2013 Award Recipients:
Diverse Community Leaders Awards
Community Leader Awards honor individuals or groups who made extraordinary contributions to Orange County in human or civil rights. This year’s honorees are:
Barbara Jennings (Fullerton) is a tireless advocate and dedicated volunteer who strives to help rebuild the lives of hungry and homeless folks in Orange County. She is serving her 9th year as President of the Board of Directors of the non-profit Pathways of Hope and served as Treasurer for 3 years before that. Barbara volunteers more than 35 hours a week to Pathways of Hope and other homeless causes. Barbara Jennings is a woman of faith who has the ability to work with people of all faith backgrounds, bringing them together in a common mission to end hunger and homelessness.
Geraldine “Gerry” Gerken (San Clemente) has dedicated her life in support of women’s issues. She has been a member of Zonta International, a non-profit that works to advance the status of women internationally, since 1955. Whether she is arranging workshops on human trafficking or domestic violence in Orange, having private conversations about these issues with members of her community in San Clemente, supporting the mission of The Wooden Floor in Santa Ana – announcing its graduation and college-going rate to anyone who will listen – or improving the lives of women and girls in Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, and other areas of our county, her commitment is unfailing and unmatched.
Jonah Mowry (Lake Forest) In August 2011, 14-year-old Lake Forest resident Jonah Mowry posted a heart-wrenching video on YouTube. In this video, which has now been viewed by more than 10 million people worldwide, Jonah poignantly describes his despair and turmoil at being bullied for being gay. Since then, Jonah, has started an advice video-series watched by tens of thousands of people, led and participated in public marches to bring attention to this issue and become a national spokesperson for bullied youth. There is no telling how many young lives he has saved by his courage, but he has made a tremendous difference in so many people’s lives—young and mature.
Dr. Michael Drake, the Chancellor of the University of California, Irvine, has established the high principle at UCI that all perspectives and opinions should be heard in an academic environment. Tasked with easing the controversy between Arab/Jewish/Muslim/Israeli students on campus, Dr. Drake addressed strident outside advocacy groups who had filed suit against the University and spoke out personally to condemn anti-Semitism, racism, and all forms of bigotry, working to establish this as a shared value of the institution. Despite the controversy and tension on campus, Dr. Drake has successfully created a climate at UCI where students of all faiths feel safe.
WE are Anaheim, SOMOS Anaheim,is a community based group who’s members come from different walks of life, live in different zip codes, speak different languages, and have varying opinions, but who come together with the common goal of working for peace and progress in the City of Anaheim. SOMOS Anaheim was formed in response to the community unrest in Anaheim in July 2012. In an effort to protest without violence and chaos, over 200-250 residents from all over Anaheim came together in a Silent Peace Walk for peace and unity. Since then, WE are Anaheim has held two art projects, hosted a Community Picnic at Pearson Park and staffed the kids art booth at Anaheim’s Come Together event in October. The groups’ numerous contributions to the betterment of the community have had a positive impact on all.
Diversity In Business Award
This award, new in 2013, recognizes a business or corporation that embraces the principles of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Wells Fargo embraces the principles of diversity and inclusion in the workplace at all levels of the organization from Chairman, President and CEO John Stumpf to the Wells Fargo (WF) Enterprise Diversity Council that ensures that WF continues to progress in recruiting, placing and developing diverse team members. Once on board, WF associates benefit from nine Team Member Networks, including the Latin Connection, Asian Connection, Middle East Team Network, Diverse Abilities Team Member Network, Black/African American Connection, Native Peoples Team Network, PRIDE Team Member Network (LGBT), Women’s Team Member Network, and Veterans’ Team Member Network.
Community Policing Awards
Community policing awards recognize departments that have tailored creative strategies to provide service and build positive relationships with their communities. This year’s awardee is:
Cypress Police Department P.A.C.E. (Positive Actions through Character Education). The development of P.A.C.E was a joint effort of the Cypress PD, Cypress School District, the Savanna School District, and private schools in Cypress. The 10-week program was created and designed to enhance awareness, influence choices, and educate 6th grade students regarding internet safety, social media, peer pressure, bullying, violence and drug abuse. The emphasis of P.A.C.E. is creative and non-traditional in that it guides students to become persons of good character and behavior while concurrently forging a positive relationship with the police department. P.A.C.E. has the full support of the City of Cypress and enables the school districts to be responsible for teaching the program to approximately 900 students each year.
Distinguished School Awards
Distinguished School Awards recognize exceptional contributions to promoting, nurturing, protecting and/or cultivating a campus that is safe, welcoming and equitable. This year’s awardees are:
Fountain Valley High School (FVHS), strives to build a culture on campus that is safe, nurturing, and inclusive of all students. As students begin each school year at FVHS, they are welcomed to campus with a strong Link Crew program and an Aloha Dance. Example of activities that help bring unity on campus are: Think Pink Football Game-partnership with Susan G. Komen Foundation to raise money and awareness of a great cause, Canned Food Drive during holidays, Pennies for Patients, Make A Wish Foundation and Operation Smiles, Human Relations Retreats, Day of Silence, Caught Being Good, to list just a few. Students, staff, and community members are truly dedicated to building a positive culture that is inclusive of all who call themselves Barons. At Fountain Valley, students are proud to be Barons for Life!
Garden Grove High School participated as an active school in OC Human Relations’ BRIDGES Program from 2007-2010. Due to budget constraints, the campus has had to maintain the mission of the BRIDGES Program of promoting a SAFE, INCLUSIVE, and EQUITABLE campus without the staff support once received by OC Human Relations. Despite the challenge, the campus’s commitment has maintained the group as a visible and active part of the school community. BRIDGES students have continued a Gay-Straight Alliance and a fully functional and engaged ELAC (English Learner Advisory Committee). BRIDGES has also collaborated with MEChA and ELAC to educate the campus about DACA (Deffered Action) and the DREAM Act. It speaks to the dedication of the GGHS community that its BRIDGES program has thrived despite the budgetary challenges.
Hansen Elementary School (Anaheim) Serving a diverse population in the heart of Orange County, Hansen School has overcome the challenges facing its low socio-economic community. Hansen School has implemented many programs to promote positive community involvement as well as clubs and instructional techniques to build equity among students. Hansen has partnered with the Anaheim Police Department to incorporate the Gang Reduction and Intervention Program (GRIP) on campus. The school started a program called Watch D.O.G.S. (Dad’s of Great Students). The goals of the program are to enhance safety and to promote male involvement at school. Hansen students also have the opportunity to develop leadership skills through the Peer Assisted Leadership (PALs) program. Through these, and may other activities, Hansen strives to promote a welcoming and equitable learning environment and is committed to developing exceptional children.
A Big Thank You to Our Sponsors!
Related, Edison International
Partner’s Advantage, Wells Fargo
Chevron; Susan & John Reese; Southern California Gas Company; Hoag; Anita Varela & Rusty Kennedy; UC Irvine
Ralph Bauer; California Sikh Council; California State University, Fullerton; Christ Our Redeemer AME Church; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; Crevier Family Fund; Buddhist Followers in Orange County; North OC Community College District; OC Department of Education; Schools First Federal Credit Union; UPS; Zonta Club of Newport Harbor
The City of Anaheim; The California Endowment; Kay Carpenter; Clem C. Glass Foundation; Keith Swayne
City National Grove of Anaheim; Corporate Office Interiors; Ron Kobayashi Trio; Edwards James Olmos; Tupua Productions; ViridiSTOR