Grassroots Revolutionary Award – Heleadora Vivar Flores
Heleodora Vivar is the proud matriarch of three generations living in New York City. She is the mother of seven, grandmother of eighteen, and great-grandmother of six. Heleodora is also one of the most visible faces in the continuous fight for the decriminalization of street vending. Since immigrating to the United States in 1987 from Guerrero, México, Heleodora has spent over 30 years fighting for immigrant workers justice. Despite facing countless obstacles, Heleodora’s tenacity has broken down barriers upon barriers, all while fostering deep connections with communities impacted by state and corporate violence. She fights for her family, for the community that surrounds her, and for all people in struggle. At 75 years of age, she is a true inspiration as she chants “¡UNIDAD ES PODER!”
Legacy Leadership Award – Donald Anthonyson
Donald Anthonyson was born in Antigua. He has been and still is involved in Civil Society and social issues in Antigua and the Caribbean. He is a member and past president of the Environmental Awareness Group (EAG), the largest environmental group in the Eastern Caribbean. He is also involved in community organizing of the Antiguan Diaspora in New York.
Migrating to the U.S., Donald got involved in various social issues ranging from police brutality (Elenanor Bumphus Justice Committee) and anti-racial responses (NYASA) to immigration. He currently lives in Harlem, NY.
Donald became a member of Families For Freedom (FFF), a New York-based human rights organization, by and for immigrants facing and fighting deportation after he was detained and put into removal procedures due to a decades old conviction. He has served FFF in many roles, including volunteer, intern, organizer, radio producer, Board member and is currently serving as the Director. He was also an original steering committee member of the Black Immigration Network, a kinship of organizations and individuals connecting, training and building towards policy and cultural shifts for a racial justice and migrants rights agenda.
Catalyst Award – Medea Benjamin
Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of the women-led peace group CODEPINK and the co-founder of the human rights group Global Exchange. She has been an advocate for social justice for more than 40 years. Described as "one of America's most committed–and most effective–fighters for human rights" by New York Newsday, and "one of the high profile leaders of the peace movement" by the Los Angeles Times, she was one of 1,000 exemplary women from 140 countries nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the millions of women who do the essential work of peace worldwide. She is the author of ten books, including Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control and Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection. Her most recent book, Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran, is part of a campaign to prevent a war with Iran and instead promote normal trade and diplomatic relations.
Cornerstone Award – NoVo Foundation
NoVo Foundation is dedicated to catalyzing a transformation in global society, moving from a culture of domination to one of equality and partnership. We support the development of capacities in people—individually and collectively—to help create a caring and balanced world. We envision a world that operates on the principles of mutual respect, collaboration, and civic participation, thereby reversing the old paradigm predicated on hierarchy, violence, and the subordination of girls and women.
New York City Honorees
Emerging Leaders Award – Returning Leaders of Umoja Kijana Shujaa
Latte Harris, Lanija Harris, Denajia Preston, Marchaline Dweh, Yasmin Kemer, Amakan Ette, Darrick Williams Jr. and Divine Muange
These eight leaders were facilitators for the 2018 cohort of Umoja Kijana Shujaa; a program for youth dedicated to Black liberation. Most of the cohort are from the David Douglas High School Black Student Union and the Benson High School Black Student Union. As participants in the first year of Umoja in 2017, they learned about gender justice, worker safety, immigration and other topics impacting the global Black community. In just two years, they put their knowledge into action, organizing the Night Out for Safety and Liberation, joining solidarity actions with Burgerville Workers Union, testifying against increased policing, and speaking out for environmental justice and against gentrification. They most recently attended the Freedom Campuses training in New York City and are helping to turn Portland into a Freedom City one campus at a time. They are the future of our movement.
Legacy Leadership Award – Cecelia Beckwith
Cecelia Beckwith has been an activist in the social justice movement, centered and led by the most oppressed, for more than 45 years. Growing up as a Black woman living in poverty in the Jim Crow South shaped her understanding of oppression and the necessity for a conscious, social movement grounded in community organizing. As a teenager she witnessed first-hand the role of working class Black women as they struggled to shape the foundation of the Civil Rights Movements. That experience defined her political involvement and social alignment. Being pro-Black, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist guided Cecelia's work in the anti-war movement, the women’s movement, the anti-apartheid movement and more recently the immigrant rights movement. These are also the values that shape her friendships, family and the ones that she has passed onto her children. Activism has propelled her though many difficult times: "I find my personal strength, my humanity and my dignity is enhanced by being an activist."
Catalyst Award – Karen Rudolph
Karen Rudolph is a lifelong activist and supporter of radical social movements. As a young intersectional feminist and educator in the 1970s and 80s, she helped to free Jimi Simmons, an indigenous Muckleshoot/Grand Ronde man who was incarcerated and facing the death penalty. They later married and raised two sons. Karen remains committed to the liberation of communities impacted by state violence. She is a documentary producer and supporter of indigenous film. She has advocated for the release of Mumia Abu Jamal, and supported formerly incarcerated organizers at Legal Services for Prisoners with Children. Karen has been a catalyst in supporting the Enlace Institute to bring healing justice by building relationships across diverse communities impacted by criminalization.
Cornerstone Award – The Libra Foundation
The Libra Foundation is a family foundation committed to social justice work in the United States in the areas of criminal justice and drug policy, environmental justice, and gender justice. Over the past decade, the foundation has granted approximately $42 million to more than 100 grantee partners.