• 2016

  • Anne Driscoll

    Anne Driscoll

    Long-time Swampscott resident Anne Driscoll is being honored for her contributions to the wrongful conviction effort. In the universe of human rights and social justice, one of the least served populations are the thousands and thousands of prisoners around the world who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit. Anne Driscoll has been working to overturn wrongful convictions since 2006. That year, the trained/licensed social worker and working journalist joined the Justice Brandeis Law Project of the…

    Anne Driscoll

    Anne Driscoll

    Long-time Swampscott resident Anne Driscoll is being honored for her contributions to the wrongful conviction effort. In the universe of human rights and social justice, one of the least served populations are the thousands and thousands of prisoners around the world who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit.

    Anne Driscoll has been working to overturn wrongful convictions since 2006. That year, the trained/licensed social worker and working journalist joined the Justice Brandeis Law Project of the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. She would dedicate nearly a decade working to help free Angel Echavarria of Lynn who was serving a life sentence for a 1994 murder he did not commit.

    In 2013, Ms. Driscoll was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and to work the Irish Innocence Project at Griffith College that was started by attorney David Langwallner in 2009. Driscoll was not a lawyer, but she was a seasoned investigative journalist with a social service and family court background. The former had particular significance.

    Ms. Driscoll relocated to Dublin in September and implemented the “radical” curriculum she had outlined in her Fulbright application. She personally taught investigative journalism techniques to law and journalism students who were also volunteer case workers in the Irish Innocence Project at Griffith College, and oversaw program activities.

    With her arrival, the IIP at Griffith College became only the second of the 68 certified innocence programs worldwide that are recognized by the Innocence Network to have both law and journalism students investigating wrongful conviction cases. Driscoll drew on her own personal experiences working for People magazine and as a journalist in the Justice Brandeis Law Project when instructing student volunteers how to dig for the evidence project lawyers would need to prove the innocence of a wrongfully convicted person. By their very nature in exposing mistakes or sometimes misconduct, innocence programs are sometimes unpopular with judicial, law enforcement, and sometimes other government agencies. Investigators carry out their work sometimes while risking personal peril.

    Anne worked with Irish Innocence Project at Griffith College director David Langwallner and student caseworker Tertius Van Eeden to help bring to fruition the ongoing effort to exonerate the name of Irish citizen Harry Gleeson, wrongfully convicted and hanged for murder in 1941.

    Drawing on her communications and media background (The Boston Globe, People magazine), Anne publicized the work of the Irish Innocence Project at Griffith College, the Justice Brandeis Law Project and the issue of wrongful convictions worldwide through numerous appearances on television and radio; extensive coverage in traditional print media; and Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, websites, etc. Her work to publicize Angel Echavarria’s exoneration resulted in more than 200 articles in one day. As a result of her own social service training and experience, Anne imbued her volunteers with an understanding of, and respect for, the emotional trauma that impacts wrongful conviction victims and their loved ones.

  • 2015

  • José Antonio Vargas

    José Antonio Vargas

    Born in the Philippines in 1981, José Antonio Vargas has lived in the United States since age 12, when his mother sent him to live with his grandparents in California without obtaining authorization for him to stay permanently. He did not learn of his immigration status until the age of 16 when he applied for a driver’s license and discovered that his identity documents were fraudulent. He kept his immigration status secret and focused on his education and fitting in…

    José Antonio Vargas

    José Antonio Vargas

    Born in the Philippines in 1981, José Antonio Vargas has lived in the United States since age 12, when his mother sent him to live with his grandparents in California without obtaining authorization for him to stay permanently. He did not learn of his immigration status until the age of 16 when he applied for a driver’s license and discovered that his identity documents were fraudulent. He kept his immigration status secret and focused on his education and fitting in as an American.

    After graduation from college, Vargas worked for the Washington Post and earned acclaim for his coverage of the AIDS epidemic in Washington DC. His work inspired the production of the documentary, The Other City, which aired on Showtime.

    In 2011, Vargas wrote an essay for the New York Times revealing that he is an undocumented immigrant. He detailed how he kept this secret for 15 years during which time he worked, paid taxes and worried that his status would be revealed. His story received much acclaim and highlighted the situation that thousands of young people are dealing with today. He received the June 2011 Sidney Award for an outstanding piece of socially conscious journalism.

    Also in 2011, Vargas founded Define American, a non-profit project established for the purpose of facilitating dialogue about the challenges of the undocumented and related immigration issues. His advocacy on behalf of the DREAM Act, which would provide undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship, led to his cover story in Time magazine where he described the uncertainty of his life after revealing his status. The day after the article was released, President Obama announced that his administration would halt the deportation of undocumented immigrants under age 30 who would qualify for DREAM Act relief and provide work permits for them, allowing them to remain in the U.S. legally. Because Vargas was 31 at the time, he did not qualify.

    He influenced major media outlets to use the term “undocumented” as opposed to “illegal immigrant” determining it is less dehumanizing. In 2013, the Associated Press and the New York Times announced that they will no longer use “illegal immigrant.” Vargas wrote, directed and produced the autobiographical film Documented: A Film by an Undocumented American released in 2013 and presented by CNN in 2014. In February 2013 Vargas testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee on Immigration and argued, “No human being is illegal.”

    Vargas came out as gay in high school in 1999 and described it as “less daunting than coming out about my legal status.” He spoke out against the Defense of Marriage Act, calling it an immigration issue that disadvantages people like him “from marrying my way into citizenship like straight people can.”

  • 2014

  • Morris Dees

    In 1967, lawyer Morris Dees had achieved extraordinary business and financial success with his book publishing company. The son of an Alabama farmer, he witnessed firsthand the painful consequences of prejudice and racial injustice. He sympathized with the civil rights movement but had not become actively involved. A night of soul-searching at a snowed-in Cincinnati airport changed his life, inspiring Dees to leave the safe, business-as-usual world and undertake a new mission. “When my plane landed in Chicago, I was…

    Morris Dees

    In 1967, lawyer Morris Dees had achieved extraordinary business and financial success with his book publishing company. The son of an Alabama farmer, he witnessed firsthand the painful consequences of prejudice and racial injustice. He sympathized with the civil rights movement but had not become actively involved. A night of soul-searching at a snowed-in Cincinnati airport changed his life, inspiring Dees to leave the safe, business-as-usual world and undertake a new mission.

    “When my plane landed in Chicago, I was ready to take that step, to speak out for my black friends who were still ‘disenfranchised’ even after the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” Dees wrote in his biography, A Season for Justice. “Little had changed in the South. Whites held the power and had no intention of voluntarily sharing it…

    “I had made up my mind. I would sell the company as soon as possible and specialize in civil rights law,” Dees said. “All the things in my life that had brought me to this point, all the pulls and tugs of my conscience, found a singular peace. It did not matter what my neighbors would think, or the judges, the bankers, or even my relatives.”

    Out of this deeply personal moment grew the Southern Poverty Law Center1.

    Morris Seligman Dees, Jr. was born in 1936 at Shorter, Alabama, the son of a farmer and cotton gin operator. He was very active in agriculture during high school and was named the Star Farmer of Alabama in 1955 by the Alabama Future Farmers of America.

    Dees attended undergraduate school at the University of Alabama where he founded a nationwide direct mail sales company that specialized in book publishing. After graduation from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1960, he returned to Montgomery, Alabama’s capital, and opened a law office. He continued his mail order and book publishing business, Fuller & Dees Marketing Group, which grew to be one of the largest publishing companies in the South. In 1969, Dees sold the company to Times Mirror, the parent company of the Los Angeles Times.

    In recognition of his publishing work and his efforts to encourage young people to become active in the business world, Dees was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of America in 1966 by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees).

    In 1967, Dees began taking controversial cases that were highly unpopular among the white community. He filed suit to stop construction of a white university in an Alabama city that already had a predominantly black state college. In 1968, he filed suit to integrate the all-white Montgomery YMCA.

    As he continued to pursue equal opportunities for minorities and the poor, Dees and his law partner Joseph J. Levin, Jr. saw the need for a non-profit organization dedicated to seeking justice. In 1971, the two lawyers founded the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    Dees has received numerous awards in conjunction with his work at the Center. Trial Lawyers for Public Justice named him Trial Lawyer of the Year in 1987, and he received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Award from the National Education Association in 1990. The American Bar Association gave him its Young Lawyers Distinguished Service Award, and the American Civil Liberties Union honored Dees with its Roger Baldwin Award. Colleges and universities have recognized his accomplishments with honorary degrees, and the University of Alabama gave Dees its Humanitarian Award in 1993.

    Dees’ success has not been limited to the law. In 1972, he was Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern’s finance director. Dees raised over $24 million from 600,000 small donors, the first time a presidential campaign had been financed with small gifts by mail. Dees also served as former President Carter’s national finance director in 1976 and as national finance chairman for Senator Kennedy’s 1980 presidential campaign.

    Dees is chief trial counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Center. He devotes his time to suing hate groups, developing ideas for Teaching Tolerance, the Center’s education project, and mapping new directions for the Center.

    In addition to his Law Center work, Dees frequently speaks to colleges and universities, legal associations and other groups throughout the country.

    Dees’ autobiography, A Season for Justice, was published by Charles Scribner’s Sons in 1991. His second book, Hate on Trial: The Case Against America’s Most Dangerous Neo-Nazi, was published by Villard Books in 1993. It chronicles the trial and $12.5 million judgment against white supremacist Tom Metzger and his White Aryan Resistance group for their responsibility in the beating death by Skinheads of a young black student in Portland, Oregon. His latest book, Gathering Storm: America’s Militia Threat, exposes the danger posed by today’s domestic terrorist groups. It was published by HarperCollins Publishers in 1996.

  • Brian Concannon and Mario Joseph

    Brian Concannon and Mario Joseph

    Lawyers by training, activists and humanitarians by nature, Mario Joseph and Brian Concannon have courageously and successfully fought for the human rights of Haiti’s poor for two decades. They have stood up to death squad leaders, dictatorships, unjust economics and, when necessary, the United Nations and U.S. policy. Mario Joseph is the Managing Attorney of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and Haiti’s most prominent human rights lawyer. He regularly defies death threats and government harassment to free political prisoners…

    Brian Concannon and Mario Joseph

    Brian Concannon and Mario Joseph

    Lawyers by training, activists and humanitarians by nature, Mario Joseph and Brian Concannon have courageously and successfully fought for the human rights of Haiti’s poor for two decades. They have stood up to death squad leaders, dictatorships, unjust economics and, when necessary, the United Nations and U.S. policy.

    Mario Joseph is the Managing Attorney of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and Haiti’s most prominent human rights lawyer. He regularly defies death threats and government harassment to free political prisoners and prosecute perpetrators of massacres and rapes.

    After eight years in Haiti with the UN and the BAI, Brian Concannon returned to the U.S. in 2004 to establish the Boston-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). IJDH supports the BAI and works for U.S. policies towards Haiti that live up to Americans’ highest ideals.

    Learn more about them at www.ijdh.org.

  • 2013

  • Thomas Doyle and Horace Seldon

    Thomas Doyle and Horace Seldon

    Thomas Doyle blew the whistle on the clergy sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church. In the 1980s, he was a fast-rising church insider at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C. when he discovered how church leadership covered up the sexual abuse of children by priests. He came forward with little regard for his own position as a priest but with great concern for the victims of this abuse. His efforts led many Catholics to demand an explanation from their…

    Thomas Doyle and Horace Seldon

    Thomas Doyle and Horace Seldon

    Thomas Doyle

    Thomas Doyle blew the whistle on the clergy sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church. In the 1980s, he was a fast-rising church insider at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C. when he discovered how church leadership covered up the sexual abuse of children by priests. He came forward with little regard for his own position as a priest but with great concern for the victims of this abuse. His efforts led many Catholics to demand an explanation from their leadership along with an insistence on greater transparency in dealing with the issue.

    His actions have empowered hundreds of victims to come forward and have prompted legislatures throughout the U.S. to eliminate or lengthen statutes of limitations in cases of sexual abuse of the young. For his service to victims, Doyle is often called a hero. He spurns the label and points instead to the survivors whose strength and courage have inspired him. In 2007, he received the Red Badge of Courage Award from SNAP (Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests). Doyle, now 68 years old, resides in Vienna, Virginia.

     

    Horace Seldon

    In 1968, Horace Seldon had an epiphany about racism following Dr. King’s assassination. A white man and a United Church of Christ Minister, he experienced a clear calling that his life’s work was to dismantle structural racism and address what the Kerner Commission called the “white problem.” That year, he founded Community Change Inc. (CCI) of Boston, a non-profit group that addresses racial issues through a variety of community activities including support to multi-racial groups taking action, the establishment of a resource center and library on racism, civil rights internships for college students, and workshops on systemic racism for large and small non-profits, churches, and schools.

    In 1980, he began teaching a course on racism at Boston College. For 52 semesters he taught over 2400 students the structural development of American racial attitudes and equipped them with tools to become agents of change. In 1995, he stepped down as the Executive Director of CCI in order to facilitate the process of the organization becoming sustainable beyond its founding director.
    At age 74, he became a National Park Service Ranger working for the Boston National Historic Site. He became a well-respected historian with a focus on William Lloyd Garrison and the abolition movement. He has stepped down as an employee but continues as a volunteer there. Seldon, now 89, resides in Wakefield, MA.

  • 2011

  • City Life/Vida Urbana

    City Life/Vida Urbana

    FIGHTING SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC INJUSTICE For the past 39 years, City Life/Vida Urbana, a bi-lingual organization, has focused on tenant’s rights, affordable housing, citizen empowerment, and community leadership development. Bringing a blend of citizen education, advocacy, activism and coalitions, City Life has long been effective in Boston in the fight for social and economic justice for working class people. Founded in 1973, and working primarily with minority and low-income families in Boston, City Life has focused on affordable housing and…

    City Life/Vida Urbana

    City Life/Vida Urbana

    Curdina Hill

    FIGHTING SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC INJUSTICE

    For the past 39 years, City Life/Vida Urbana, a bi-lingual organization, has focused on tenant’s rights, affordable housing, citizen empowerment, and community leadership development. Bringing a blend of citizen education, advocacy, activism and coalitions, City Life has long been effective in Boston in the fight for social and economic justice for working class people.

    Founded in 1973, and working primarily with minority and low-income families in Boston, City Life has focused on affordable housing and tenants rights. Since 2007, this focus has increasingly centered on helping homeowners and tenants faced with foreclosure and eviction.

    City Life/Vida Urbana sees firsthand the damage and destruction to people, property, neighborhoods, and the city that foreclosures bring. It continues to be effective in reducing the numbers of foreclosures and evictions in Boston, and to speak out against the injustices that underlie the housing crisis.

    City Life has developed an especially effective relationship with Boston Community Capital (BCC), a non-profit bank in Roxbury that is focused on community development projects and reducing the negative impacts of the housing crisis.

    The organization is supported by numerous individuals and institutions including the Boston Foundation, the Boston Bar Foundation, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard University’s Oak Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the Paul and Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation, the Solidago Foundation, and United Way of Mass Bay.

    To learn more about City Life/Vida Urbana, please visit http://www.clvu.org/.

  • 2010

  • Dr. Jonathan Shay

    Dr. Jonathan Shay

    ADVOCATING FOR VETERANS Dr. Jonathan Shay’s work has been instrumental in building public awareness and acceptance of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, as a serious and bona fide war injury, and his focus on how the military can reduce the incidence of such injury has been influential within the services. From 1987 to 2008, he was a staff psychiatrist at the Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Boston.  Treating approximately 200 Vietnam veterans during that period, he became deeply knowledgeable…

    Dr. Jonathan Shay

    Dr. Jonathan Shay

    ADVOCATING FOR VETERANS

    Dr. Jonathan Shay’s work has been instrumental in building public awareness and acceptance of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, as a serious and bona fide war injury, and his focus on how the military can reduce the incidence of such injury has been influential within the services.

    From 1987 to 2008, he was a staff psychiatrist at the Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Boston.  Treating approximately 200 Vietnam veterans during that period, he became deeply knowledgeable about the psychological trauma that these men had experienced during the war and that they were still reliving.

    In 1994, he published Achilles In Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character, and in 2002, Odysseus In America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming.  The books form a comprehensive description of the specific nature of catastrophic war experiences, and how they combine with a number of other critical factors to produce PTSD in soldiers and veterans.

    In particular, the books explore the effects on individual human character that disabling psychiatric wounds cause.  PTSD can and does afflict anybody, including the strongest, bravest, and most capable among us.

    Because of Shay’s work and the work of others, the more than six million troops who have served in combat since the beginning of the Vietnam War can now seek treatment for PTSD, though many continue to fear that the stigma will affect their careers.

    Rigorous studies conducted in the late 1980’s showed that approximately 36 percent of male Vietnam combat veterans still suffered from PTSD.  That translated to roughly 250,000 men with severe psychological injuries still alive in 1990.

    Untreated PTSD results in ongoing emotional pain and suffering, difficulty with families and jobs, self-destructive and criminal behavior, homelessness, and incarceration of veterans at rates disproportionate to their presence in the population.

    Dr. Shay has worked closely with the military to implement reforms both in the training of soldiers and in the practices and policies used in actual deployment.  He has collaborated with General James Jones, the past commandant of the Marines, and Major General James Mattis of the Marines.

    In 1999 to 2000, he performed the Commandant of the Marine Corps Trust Study, and in 2001 he was Visiting Scholar-at-Large at the U.S. Naval War College.  From 2004 to 2005 he was Chair of Ethics, Leadership, and Personnel Policy in the Office of the U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, and in the spring of 2009 he was the Omar Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership at the US Army War College.  In 2007 he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.

    Like those who spoke out against the Witch Trials in 1692, it is Dr. Shay’s voice and the voices of others speaking out against injustice that have changed the way that both the public and the military treat a group of citizens, in this case American troops who suffer from PTSD, both while in active duty and after.  Through his work, Dr. Shay has helped make it possible for those who serve in the military and others in the path of war with PTSD to be offered treatment so that they have an opportunity to lead a full life.

  • 2009

  • Greg Mortenson

    Greg Mortenson

    Greg Mortenson has received the 18th annual Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice for his work promoting peace and building schools for children, especially girls, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since a 1993 climb on Pakistan’s K2, Greg Mortenson has dedicated his life to promoting community-based education and literacy programs, especially for girls, in remote mountain regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is the co-founder and Executive Director of nonprofit Central Asia Institute www.ikat.org and the founder of “Pennies…

    Greg Mortenson

    Greg Mortenson

    Greg Mortenson has received the 18th annual Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice for his work promoting peace and building schools for children, especially girls, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Since a 1993 climb on Pakistan’s K2, Greg Mortenson has dedicated his life to promoting community-based education and literacy programs, especially for girls, in remote mountain regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is the co-founder and Executive Director of nonprofit Central Asia Institute www.ikat.org and the founder of “Pennies For Peace,” www.penniesforpeace.org.

    Mortenson is well known as the co-author of the New York Times best-sellers, Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School At A Time and Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan www.stonesintoschools.com.

    Since 1994, Mortenson and the CAI have worked in close cooperation with tribal villagers to complete 131 schools in many provinces of the two countries. The schools that Greg Mortenson, the CAI, and the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan have built together are currently educating about 58,000 students. Most of those schoolchildren are girls, a fact with immense implications for progress in human rights, the development of community, and the prospects for peace in these traditional Muslim countries.

    So successful and impressive are Mortenson’s approaches and achievements in Afghanistan and Pakistan that many higher-ranking officers of both our State Department and our military are required to read his books. Mortenson’s work with the people of central Asia is driven by his desire to help the inhabitants of a rugged part of the world that he had come to love after being rescued and nursed back to health by the villagers of Korphe following a failed attempt to climb K2.

    Mortenson is not a naïve pacifist. Twice he had hostile fatwas issued against him; he was held captive for eight days by independent, tribal Waziris; and he witnessed the refugee camps in Pakistan filled with thousands of ordinary Muslims who had fled in terror as the fanatical Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in the late 1990’s. But he believes that only careful, constructive, grassroots initiatives aimed at educating and strengthening the moderate majority of Pakistanis and Afghans will build communities capable of countering tyranny and extremism, as well as the ignorance and hopelessness that enable fanaticisms.

    Mortenson is a military veteran, and when not overseas, he lives in Montana with his two children and wife, Dr. Tara Bishop. Learn more!

  • 2008

  • Coalition of Immokalee Workers

    Coalition of Immokalee Workers

    The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)1 is the recipient of the 17th annual Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice for their work to eliminate modern-day slavery in the agricultural industry. The coalition was founded in 1993, when six migrant workers laboring in the agricultural fields of Immokalee, Florida began to meet regularly in a local church to discuss ways to improve working conditions and generally improve their lives. Within five years, by generating pressure and attention with community-wide…

    Coalition of Immokalee Workers

    Coalition of Immokalee Workers

    Lucas Benitez Gerardo Reyes Chavez

    The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)1 is the recipient of the 17th annual Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice for their work to eliminate modern-day slavery in the agricultural industry.

    The coalition was founded in 1993, when six migrant workers laboring in the agricultural fields of Immokalee, Florida began to meet regularly in a local church to discuss ways to improve working conditions and generally improve their lives.

    Within five years, by generating pressure and attention with community-wide work stoppages, farmworker strikes, hunger strikes, and marches, the organization had won pay raises and the beginnings of political power. Now representing 4,000 migrant laborers and organizing thousands more, the coalition has broadened its agenda to fight for workers’ rights, fair wages, health coverage, better working conditions, decent housing, the right to organize, an end to indentured servitude, and the abolition of slavery.

    Its anti-slavery campaign has helped to bring seven successful court cases involving more than 1,000 workers and more than a dozen employers in the past decade. The cases involved employers who used violence and intimidation to restrain farmworkers and make them work for little or no pay.

    The coalition actively works with law enforcement agencies in investigating and uncovering slavery rings, and assists in the federal prosecutions of slave-holding employers. The CIW is a co-founder of the national Freedom Network USA to Empower Enslaved and Trafficked Persons. It is also a co-founder and Southeastern U.S. Regional Coordinator for the Freedom Network Training Institute, conducting trainings for law enforcement and social service personnel in how to identify and assist slavery victims. The CIW is a member of the U.S. Attorneys Anti-Trafficking Task Force for Tampa and Miami.

    Starting in 2001, in an effort to address the poverty, root causes, and conditions that allow slavery and forced labor in Florida to continue, the coalition began a series of activities aimed at fast-food corporations, which are among the largest purchasers of tomatoes in the U.S.

    Called the “Campaign for Fair Food,” and using boycotts, cross-country educational campaigns, and publicity-generating actions aimed directly at the restaurant chains, the CIW has successfully reached agreements in the past seven years with Burger King, McDonalds’s, Taco Bell, Subway, and Whole Foods. The companies have agreed to pay more for their produce (in amounts to be passed directly to the farmworkers), establish more stringent supplier codes of conduct, adhere to “zero-tolerance” guidelines for labor abuses, and set up monitoring protocols to better enforce labor improvements in the agricultural industry.

    Mr. Lucas Benitez and Mr. Gerardo Reyes Chavez, both longtime leaders and spokesmen for the coalition, and who accepted the Salem Award on May 9, 2009, on behalf of the CIW, point out that the ultimate solution to eliminating modern-day slavery rests with the leverage that corporations, supermarkets and other large-produce buyers and consumers can bring to bear on the exploitive practices of produce growers and farmworker employers.

  • 2007

  • Eric Reeves

    Eric Reeves

    Eric Reeves is the recipient of the 16th annual Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice for his work on the genocide and atrocities in Sudan. A Smith College Professor, Dr. Reeves has written and published extensively on Sudan for the past nine years. He has served as a researcher and consultant to numerous human rights and humanitarian organizations working in Sudan, and has testified formally on Sudan in a variety of governmental forums, including several Congressional hearings. His…

    Eric Reeves

    Eric Reeves

    Eric Reeves is the recipient of the 16th annual Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice for his work on the genocide and atrocities in Sudan. A Smith College Professor, Dr. Reeves has written and published extensively on Sudan for the past nine years. He has served as a researcher and consultant to numerous human rights and humanitarian organizations working in Sudan, and has testified formally on Sudan in a variety of governmental forums, including several Congressional hearings. His publications have appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The International Herald Tribune, and many major American metropolitan newspapers, as well as international newspapers and journals. Longer essays on Sudan have appeared in Dissent, The Nation, Human Rights Review and African Studies

    1.   His work is also published on a weekly basis in a variety of Sudanese magazines, newspapers, and websites. The contents of his website, www.sudanreeves.org, are archived by the African Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division of the United States Library of Congress.Dr. Reeves serves on the Advisory Board of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants; the Board of Advisors for Genocide Watch and The International Campaign to End Genocide; and the Board of Advisors to the Darfur Peace and Development Association.  He is a director of the “Schools for Sudan” initiative.

      Professor Reeves is regularly asked to provide expert commentary on Sudan to the BBC, Radio France International, PBS, NPR, as well as to the major international news services and foreign correspondents for a wide range of publications. He is presently at work on a book-length study of American and international policy responses to Sudan over the last decade.

    Dr. Reeves regularly donates proceeds from his speaking engagements to a Sudan relief fund and has taken unpaid leave from Smith to pursue his humanitarian work. He traveled to Sudan in 2003, to gain firsthand understanding of the situation and the Sudanese people.  His book about his experience, A Long Day’s Dying, was published in 2007.

    A decade ago, a conversation with a representative of the human rights group Doctors without Borders turned his attention to the violence in Sudan. The crisis, and its lack of a clear champion, compelled Reeves to integrate advocacy with his academic work at Smith College which focuses on Shakespeare, Milton and the literature of the English Renaissance. His commitment has grown over the past decade.

  • 2006

  • Charles Swift and Neal Katyal

    Charles Swift and Neal Katyal

    Navy Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift and Georgetown Law Professor Neal Katyal are the recipients of the 15th annual Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice. Swift and Katyal represented Salim Ahmed Hamdan in the Supreme Court case Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. Hamdan, a Yemeni citizen and former driver for Osama bin Laden, was captured in Afghanistan in 2001 and imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay. In 2003, Swift was assigned to serve as his defense counsel. However, the letter appointing him as…

    Charles Swift and Neal Katyal

    Charles Swift and Neal Katyal

    Navy Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift and Georgetown Law Professor Neal Katyal are the recipients of the 15th annual Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice.

    Swift and Katyal represented Salim Ahmed Hamdan in the Supreme Court case Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. Hamdan, a Yemeni citizen and former driver for Osama bin Laden, was captured in Afghanistan in 2001 and imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay. In 2003, Swift was assigned to serve as his defense counsel.

    However, the letter appointing him as Hamdan’s defense counsel contained one caveat. Swift would have access to his client only when he negotiated a guilty plea. Swift thought that was an unethical condition and instead decided to argue that Hamdan should be accorded the rights and protections of the Geneva Convention and that the military commissions at Guantanamo were themselves invalid. He immediately called Neal Katyal, a Georgetown Law professor who volunteered his services to the defense team. What followed is more than three years of masterful legal maneuvering.

    At issue in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld was the constitutionality of the military commissions that were set up to try as war criminals a group of detainees at Guantanamo. The President claimed that his inherent executive powers, as well as Congress’s Joint Resolution Authorization for the Use of Military Force, enabled him to try the detainees before these military commissions rather than regular military or civilian courts.

    By a 5-3 decision the Supreme Court rejected this assertion of Presidential power. In his concurring opinion, Justice Breyer wrote, “Congress has denied the president the legislative authority to create military commissions of the kind at issue here.”

     

    Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift

    Lt. Cmdr. Charles D. Swift

    Lieutenant Commander Charles D. Swift, a native of Franklin, North Carolina graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1984. After seven years of active service, Swift took time off to attend law school at Seattle University School of Law, graduating cum laude in 1994. Returning to active service, he affiliated with the Navy’s Judge Advocate Generals Corp. He was selected as the Junior Officer of the Year for 1997.

    Lt. Cmdr. Swift has twelve years of litigation experience—nine of those as a defense counsel—and has represented more than 150 service members in military justice proceedings, including serving as lead military counsel in more than 20 contested court-martials. He is admitted to practice before the Supreme Courts of the state of North Carolina.

    Lt. Cmdr. Swift will be forced to retire from the armed services in March or April. Having recently been passed over for promotion to full commander, he will have to leave the military under its “up or out” promotion system. The military’s decision not to promote Lt. Cmdr. Swift was made despite a report from his supervisor saying he served with distinction. The military claims there is no connection between its decision and Swift’s defense of Salim Ahmed Hamdan although, coincidently, the decision came about two weeks after the Supreme Court decision.

    Lt. Cmdr. Swift has received numerous personal military awards.

     

    Prof. Neal Katyal

    Prof. Neal K. Katyal

    Neal K. Katyal is the John Carroll Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law School. He is American-born of Indian decent. He attended Dartmouth College and Yale Law School.

    Prior to his appointment at Georgetown, he was law clerk to Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Guido Calabresi of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. He previously served as National Security Adviser in the U.S. Department of Justice and was commissioned by President Clinton to co-author a report on the ways that the legal profession can enhance its pro bono activities and diversify the Bar. He also served as co-counsel to Vice President Al Gore in the Supreme Court election dispute of 2000 and represented the Deans of most major private law schools in the University of Michigan affirmative-action case before the Supreme Court. He was visiting Professor at Yale Law School in 2001–02 and Harvard Law School in 2002.

    Before Hamden v. Rumsfeld, Katyal had never argued a case before the Supreme Court. He not only wrote his own brief and devoted thousands of hours in preparation, but he coordinated some 40 other friend-of-the-court briefs filed by a wide variety of scholars, military officers, diplomats, and organizations. In three years time, over 1,000 lawyers and students worked on various parts of the case, with Katyal overseeing it every step of the way. When asked by Hamdan why he was doing this, Katyal replied, “I am doing this for you because my parents came from India to America for one simple reason: America doesn’t treat people differently because of where they come from. We fought a civil war in part about the idea that all people are guaranteed certain rights, and chief among those is a right to a fair trial.”

    Professor Katyal was awarded the 2004 Pro Bono Award by the National Law Journal and was named Lawyer of the Year by Lawyers USA for 2006.

  • 2005

  • Paula Donovan

    Paula Donovan

    Paula Donovan, Senior Advisor in the office of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa, has worked in international relations for 19 years, with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS since the mid-1990s. Following a decade of work in the domestic non-profit field, Ms. Donovan began her career in international development at the American affiliate of the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF USA. In 1991, Ms. Donovan joined UNICEF’s international headquarters, where she first managed global communications and advocacy for…

    Paula Donovan

    Paula Donovan

    Paula Donovan, Senior Advisor in the office of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa, has worked in international relations for 19 years, with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS since the mid-1990s. Following a decade of work in the domestic non-profit field, Ms. Donovan began her career in international development at the American affiliate of the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF USA. In 1991, Ms. Donovan joined UNICEF’s international headquarters, where she first managed global communications and advocacy for the UN children’s agency’s worldwide campaign to support breastfeeding and end the illegal promotion of infant formula. In 1996, she was appointed Executive Aide to UNICEF’s Deputy Executive Director in charge of global programs and policies, emergency operations, and communications.

    In 2000, Ms. Donovan was posted to Nairobi, Kenya as UNICEF’s Regional Advisor on HIV/AIDS for the 23 countries of Eastern and Southern Africa. She was subsequently recruited by UNIFEM, the UN women’s agency, as its Africa-wide Gender and AIDS Advisor. In 2003, Ms. Donovan left the UN but remained in Kenya to independently organize an “International Women’s AIDS Run,” Africa’s first all-women’s long-distance road race, designed to raise awareness of, and to acknowledge the millions of women across the continent who care for those left sick or orphaned by AIDS. The race, which was the curtain-raiser for the international AIDS conference held in Nairobi in 2003, registered 11,000 female runners from over a dozen countries, and is now an annual event. In 2001, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed a former Canadian UN ambassador and humanitarian his first “Special Envoy on AIDS” to advocate with African and western leaders, the international community and the world public for a stronger and more urgent global response to the pandemic, and Ms. Donovan became part-time advisor to the envoy, traveling with him to AIDS-affected African countries. Upon her return to the US in 2004, Ms. Donovan took up her current full-time role as Senior Advisor to the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy. In her capacity as advisor on women’s and children’s issues, Ms. Donovan this year will assume the added role of policy consultant on children and AIDS with the Harvard School of Public Health’s Francois X. Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights.

    Born and raised in the Boston area, Ms. Donovan graduated in 1977 from Fairfield University in Connecticut with a B.A. in English, and returned to the university’s graduate school in the 1980s to earn a Masters degree in Corporate and Political Communication. She now lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and travels extensively in Africa.

  • 2004

  • Fahima Vorgetts

    Fahima Vorgetts

    Fahima Vorgetts grew up in Afghanistan. From an early age, she has been working to improve the position of women in Afghan society. While in graduate school in Kabul, she was director of a women’s literacy program. In 1979, Ms. Vorgetts, then 24 years old, fled Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion. Eventually she came to the United States, married an American, and is raising her family in Maryland. She remains a Muslim. It is her memories of her early years…

    Fahima Vorgetts

    Fahima Vorgetts

    Fahima Vorgetts grew up in Afghanistan. From an early age, she has been working to improve the position of women in Afghan society. While in graduate school in Kabul, she was director of a women’s literacy program. In 1979, Ms. Vorgetts, then 24 years old, fled Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion. Eventually she came to the United States, married an American, and is raising her family in Maryland. She remains a Muslim.

    It is her memories of her early years that prompt her to dedicate her life’s work to improving the plight of women in her native country. In her own words Fahima says, “Afghanistan haunts me. It is my country, and my heart breaks for my sisters who undergo daily oppression and hardship there. My passion and life’s work is to reclaim and rebuild the country so that women can be free and equal, and can live a life of dignity, literacy and financial stability.”

    As part of her long-term commitment to the women and children of Afghanistan, Fahima raises funds through speaking engagements and sales of Afghan handcrafts. Several times each year Fahima travels to Afghanistan. She has opened new schools for girls and literacy classes for women. She has created income-generating projects for widows, helping them become self-sufficient, and arranged for the shipment of medical supplies to Herat’s women’s hospital. She has distributed warm clothing and school supplies to refugees in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. Her efforts have touched the lives of thousands of women of all ages and ethnicities.

    Fahima has addressed the United Nations and traveled widely speaking to university conferences and religious organizations. She has appeared on many national and international television and radio stations, including BBC and NPR. She has been featured in articles in the Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post. She served as a consultant for two books dealing with Afghan women, Women For Afghan Women: Shattering Myths and Reclaiming the Future, edited by Sunita Mehta and Behind the Burqa, by Batya Swift Yasgur, a memoir of two Afghan sisters.

    Ms. Vorgetts is currently a board member of Women for Afghan Women1 and director of the Afghan Women’s Fund. She is also an honorary member of Afghanistan Organization for Human Rights and Environmental Protection.

    Fahima is the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award for “Extraordinary Contribution to Peace and Justice” awarded by the Ann Arundel Peace Action Organization in 2002. In December 2003, she was awarded the “Human Right Community Award” by the UN Association of the National Capital Area. In September 2004, she received “Most outstanding volunteer” award from Ann Arundel County.

  • 2003

  • Jane Elliott

    Jane Elliott

    On the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in April 1968, Jane Elliott’s third graders from the small, all-white town of Riceville, Iowa, came to class confused and upset. They recently had made King their “Hero of the Month,” and they couldn’t understand why someone would kill him. So Elliott decided to teach her class a daring lesson in the meaning of discrimination. She wanted to show her pupils what discrimination feels like, and what it can do…

    Jane Elliott

    Jane Elliott

    On the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in April 1968, Jane Elliott’s third graders from the small, all-white town of Riceville, Iowa, came to class confused and upset. They recently had made King their “Hero of the Month,” and they couldn’t understand why someone would kill him. So Elliott decided to teach her class a daring lesson in the meaning of discrimination. She wanted to show her pupils what discrimination feels like, and what it can do to people.

    Nearly 34 years later, Elliott reflects upon how the simple classroom exercise she devised the day after Martin Luther King’s assassination has transformed her life. As a schoolteacher, she tried to explain the meaning of King’s death to her all-white students. Riceville was and is today a white, Christian town with a population of about 1,000, none of whom believed there were any racists among them. Elliott devised the exercise—this is not an experiment she emphasizes—in which one-day the brown-eyed children are on top and the next day the blue eyed. “I chose a physical characteristic over which they had no control and attributed negative elements to this characteristic. I had no idea how it would work out. If I had known the enormous impact it had on my students and the community, I would not have done it,” says Elliott.

    After her experiment got national television coverage, she recalls, townspeople made threatening phone calls, beat and spit at her children, and boycotted her parents’ coffee shop, eventually forcing it out of business. They feared black people would think that they all thought like her and blacks would think life was good in Riceville and move over there in droves. Her father went bankrupt. Of course, this created chaos within the family. “My mother thought I’d gone crazy and asked me, ‘can’t you just stop with this nonsense?'” She has never forgiven me. “My brothers, self-made millionaires and conservative Republicans, wondered what the hell my problem was.” Her father, however, has never stopped her. In fact, it was his contradictory attitude that made Jane the odd one out in her family. “My father always said, ‘never put a stone on another man’s path’ or ‘justice will never be disadvantageous to man’ or ‘a just cause is a good thing.'” At the same time, he wouldn’t have his daughters marry a black man. I thought that wasn’t right. I was crazy about my father. It’s a shame he was so prejudiced.”

    For the next 16 years, Jane did Brown Eyes/Blue Eyes with school children. Since 1984, she has been doing an adult version of the exercise in business training programs and governmental agencies and institutions throughout the world. Elliott’s exercise, initiated in 1968 as a ground-breaking experiment in anti-racist training, has been featured on Today, The Tonight Show, Oprah, ABC News, and PBS’ Frontline. Several award-winning documentaries have been produced (Eye of the Storm in 1970 by William Peters for ABC News; A Class Divided in 1985 by William Peters for PBS/Frontline; a German filmmaker made Blue Eyed, Eye of the Beholder; and in 2000 The Angry Eye; and in 2001 an Australian producer made Stolen Eye.) Finally in 2003, Disney began development of a made-for-TV movie that will star Susan Sarandon as Jane Elliott.

    Jane Elliott’s approach is especially relevant today. It demonstrates that even without juridical discrimination, hate speech, lowered expectations, and dismissive behavior can have devastating effects on minority achievement. And Elliott points out that sexism, homophobia, and ageism work in the same way.

    Jane Elliott is a leader in the fight against prejudice, ignorance, and racism in society. She continues to teach about the meaning of discrimination, what it feels like, and how it can change a person. She is genuine, down-to-earth, feared, and admired. She will enlighten, stimulate, and challenge you…she is coming to Salem.

  • 2002

  • James C. McCloskey

    James C. McCloskey

    Jim McCloskey, was born in Havertown, Pennsylvania, a western suburb of Philadelphia. He graduated from Bucknell in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Economics. He then spent three years as an OCS graduated officer in the U.S. Navy. First he was an assistant officer in charge of U.S. Naval communications station near Tokyo, Japan. Then he spent a year in the Mekong Delta living and working with a South Vietnamese naval group whose mission was to patrol…

    James C. McCloskey

    James C. McCloskey

    Jim McCloskey, was born in Havertown, Pennsylvania, a western suburb of Philadelphia. He graduated from Bucknell in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Economics. He then spent three years as an OCS graduated officer in the U.S. Navy. First he was an assistant officer in charge of U.S. Naval communications station near Tokyo, Japan. Then he spent a year in the Mekong Delta living and working with a South Vietnamese naval group whose mission was to patrol the rivers and the South China Sea coast to intercept Viet Cong infiltrators. Jim was awarded the Bronze Star with the combat V for his courage under fire.

    After earning a post-graduate degree in international business from The American Graduate School for International Business in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968, Jim began his business career. From 1969 until 1973 he lived in Tokyo and worked for a management-consulting firm jointly owned by the Citicorp Bank of New York City and the Fuji Bank of Japan. He primarily conducted market research and joint venture negotiations on behalf of American clients interested in establishing their business in Japan and other Asian markets.

    Jim returned to Philadelphia in 1974 where he worked for another consulting firm, The Hay Group. Building on his Japan business expertise, Jim developed and led Hay’s business with Japanese companies in the United States and established Hay’s management consulting business in Tokyo where it flourishes to this day.

    In 1979, at age 37, Jim left Hay and the business world for what he thought was a calling to be a church minister. However, things took a different and unexpected turn. While earning his Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, Jim satisfied his field education requirement by serving as a student chaplain at Trenton State Prison in 1980. He came across an inmate named Jorge de los Santos who was in the sixth year of a life sentence for a Newark, NJ murder of which he claimed to be innocent. Provoked by this man’s cries of innocence and a study of the trial transcripts, Jim, in early 1981, took a one-year leave of absence from Princeton Theological Seminary to work full-time and independently on behalf of Mr. De los Santos.

    Jim formed a defense committee of noted New Jersey jurists, attorneys, and clergy; secured the services of a great defense lawyer; conducted his own investigation; and raised and spent $25,000 to meet the costs of freeing Jorge. In July of 1983, Mr. De los Santos was freed and exonerated by a Federal District Judge in Newark. By that time Jim had come to believe in the complete innocence of two other men, Rene Santana and Damaso Vega, and had returned to his studies and graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary. Jim decided to forego the church pastorate in favor of establishing Centurion Ministries and devoting the rest of his life to freeing the imprisoned innocent beginning with Messrs. Santana and Vega, both of whom he freed during the second half of the 1980’s.

    In the 20 years since that decision, Jim has traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada conducting numerous investigations of wrongful convictions. Since C.M. was founded in 1983, C.M. has freed and exonerated 27 innocent people, each of whom has spent an average of 15 years under false imprisonment serving life or death sentences for crimes they did not commit. Jim speaks publicly to a variety of groups about the convicted innocent. He also writes for publications about this phenomenon and the individual injustices C.M. has helped overturn.

    In June 2002, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice conferred on Jim an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

    Centurion Ministries
    221 Witherspoon Street
    Princeton, New Jersey 08542
    Phone: +1.609.921.0334
    Fax: +1.609.921.6919
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Web: CenturionMinistries.org

  • 2001

  • Robert W. Raiche

    Robert W. Raiche

    Robert Raiche, who died in 2014, was the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Friends Forever, a program that promotes peace and friendship among Catholic and Protestant teenagers in Northern Ireland and young Arabs and Jews in Israel. Raiche spent most of his career with the YMCA. He served as Executive Director of the YMCAs in Danvers (1961–1965), Salem (1965–1978) and Portsmouth, NH (1978–1989). It was while he was in Portsmouth that he founded Friends Forever. An active Rotarian,…

    Robert W. Raiche

    Robert W. Raiche

    Robert Raiche, who died in 2014, was the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Friends Forever, a program that promotes peace and friendship among Catholic and Protestant teenagers in Northern Ireland and young Arabs and Jews in Israel. Raiche spent most of his career with the YMCA. He served as Executive Director of the YMCAs in Danvers (1961–1965), Salem (1965–1978) and Portsmouth, NH (1978–1989). It was while he was in Portsmouth that he founded Friends Forever.

    An active Rotarian, he drew support from many other Rotary Clubs to fund the Friends Forever program.

    In addition to has many efforts on behalf of Friends Forever, Raiche was an elected Town Meeting member and was involved in the Danvers Educational Enrichment Program. He was also well known in other local communities on the North Shore. While in Salem, for example, he served as President of the Chamber of Commerce.

     

    Friends Forever

    Friends Forever was founded in 1986. Each year since, the program has brought groups of eight to twelve young people together for two-week retreats in the United States. Here in an unfamiliar culture, on neutral ground, away from their home environment they learn to turn to each other and to replace fear and suspicion with friendship and trust.

    In places like Northern Ireland and Israel, generations of teens living in separate areas, attending segregated schools, even playing different sports and learning different histories, have built formidable walls of mistrust and fear. Friends Forever tears down those barriers.

    When the teens return home they are repeatedly reunited for activities in which professional youth workers help them translate their new understanding into real gains at home and enlarge the circle of those who are committed to peace.

    The program has won widespread praise, particularly from U.S. Senator George Mitchell, chairman of the peace talks in Northern Ireland. The group has met with former President George H.S. Bush several times.

    Bill Fleming of the Belfast YMCA in Northern Ireland said, “Friends Forever builds bonds of trust and friendship in only two weeks that take us two years any other way. Friends Forever is up there all alone, in a class by itself.”

  • 2000

  • Jane Schaller, M.D.

    Dr. Jane Schaller received her M.D. from Harvard University in 1960. She did postgraduate training at the University of Washington, MRC Rheumatism Research Unit, Taplow, England. She is the David and Leona Karp Professor of Pediatrics, Chief, Division of Rheumatology, and adjunct Professor of Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. Jane serves as President (1998—) of the International Pediatric Association, an organization of 147 national pediatric societies and eighteen international subspecialty and regional pediatric societies….

    Jane Schaller, M.D.

    Dr. Jane Schaller received her M.D. from Harvard University in 1960. She did postgraduate training at the University of Washington, MRC Rheumatism Research Unit, Taplow, England. She is the David and Leona Karp Professor of Pediatrics, Chief, Division of Rheumatology, and adjunct Professor of Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

    Jane serves as President (1998—) of the International Pediatric Association, an organization of 147 national pediatric societies and eighteen international subspecialty and regional pediatric societies. This organization represents most pediatricians in the world. The goal of IPA is to improve the health and welfare of children throughout the world. It does this through educational and advocacy efforts, including a triennial world congress, symposia, and workshops in various parts of the world in conjunction with national or regional pediatric societies, and through publication of a newsletter, IPA News, and their World Wide Web site.

    Jane was also the founding president of Physician for Human Rights, an organization that has been instrumental in documenting human rights abuses throughout the world. She was a board member of the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, The American Academy of Pediatrics representative to UNICEF, chairwoman of the children’s advisory committee for Human Rights Watch, and special consultant to the International Pediatric Association on Children’s Right and Children in War.

    Dr. Schaller’s most far-reaching impact has been in bringing the attention of medical professionals and the world to the effect of war on children and youth.

  • 1999

  • Leonard P. Zakim

    Leonard P. Zakim

    For nearly twenty years, until his untimely death in 1999, Lenny Zakim served as Executive Director of the New England Regional Office of the Anti-Defamation League. Personally and professionally, he was an outspoken opponent of anti-Semitism, racism and all forms of bigotry. Shortly before his death, Zakim participated in an historic pilgrimage to Israel and Rome with a group of Catholics and Jews led by Bernard Cardinal Law and Bishop William F. Murphy. While in Rome, Zakim received the order…

    Leonard P. Zakim

    Leonard P. Zakim

    For nearly twenty years, until his untimely death in 1999, Lenny Zakim served as Executive Director of the New England Regional Office of the Anti-Defamation League. Personally and professionally, he was an outspoken opponent of anti-Semitism, racism and all forms of bigotry.

    Shortly before his death, Zakim participated in an historic pilgrimage to Israel and Rome with a group of Catholics and Jews led by Bernard Cardinal Law and Bishop William F. Murphy. While in Rome, Zakim received the order of Saint Gregory, a knighthood conferred by His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, in recognition of his work in the area of Catholic-Jewish relations.

    Zakim was on of the initiators of the anti-bias educational project called A World of Difference. Since its inception in 1985 in Boston, it has been adopted in twenty-nine other cities and eight European countries. Its programs have been conducted in Israel, South Africa, and Japan. Over 35,000 teachers have taken part in training programs and hundreds of thousands of students have been impacted. Together with Jon P. Jennings and the Reggie Lewis, Zakim was founder of Team Harmony, the nation’s largest interracial gathering of youth committed to opposing bigotry and promoting diversity.

    Zakim, author of Confronting Anti-Semitism: A Practical, published numerous articles and columns on the Arab/Israeli conflict, Black/Jewish relations, Catholic/Jewish relations, and civil and human rights. He received numerous awards, including the Jewish Community Relations Council’s top Jewish professional award, the National Conference of Christians and Jews Humanitarian Award, and the Catholic Charities Medal. He was awarded honorary degrees from Brandeis University, Northeastern University, and Salem State College.

  • 1998

  • Barbara Vogel

    Barbara Vogel

  • 1997

  • Vicky Guzman, M.D.

    A graduate of medical school in Mexico, Vicky Guzman returned to her native El Salvador in 1971 and went into the villages where there was a desperate need for medical help. Within the first six months, she and her rural helpers treated 1,000 people. Combining modern medicine and folkways, Dr. Guzman won the trust of the people and helped them with issues of hygiene and sanitation. Perceived as an agitator because of her concern for economic conditions and the distribution…

    Vicky Guzman, M.D.

    A graduate of medical school in Mexico, Vicky Guzman returned to her native El Salvador in 1971 and went into the villages where there was a desperate need for medical help. Within the first six months, she and her rural helpers treated 1,000 people. Combining modern medicine and folkways, Dr. Guzman won the trust of the people and helped them with issues of hygiene and sanitation.

    Perceived as an agitator because of her concern for economic conditions and the distribution of land, Dr. Guzman was persecuted by the National Guard and police in El Salvador. During her imprisonment in 1973 her medical experience and commitment to the poor persuaded the police to put her to work, and soon she was implementing her cooperative programs in the capital.

    In 1986, ASAPROSAR (The Salvadoran Association for Rural Health) received legal recognition. By 1996 health services were expanded to forty-four cantons (regions) and eighteen marginalized urban groups in El Salvador. Three rural clinics have been constructed and eight centers for maternal health have been established. To date more than 800 people have been trained as health promoters, child development promoters and lay midwives.

    In addition to founding ASAPROSAR, Dr. Guzman has been national director for Habitat for Humanity in El Salvador and served as director of many community health organizations in her country. Among other honors she has received the 1993 Humanitarian Award for the International Benevolent Mission in Houston, Texas and the 1993 “Notable Distinguished Person” award from the Civic Department in Santa Ana, El Salvador.

    Dr. Guzman’s life-long dedication to health care for the poor and her understanding of the rights of all people to fair treatment exemplify the spirit of the Salem Award.

  • 1996

  • Aaron Feuerstein

    Aaron Feuerstein is the President and CEO of Malden Mills Industries, Inc. Leading the company founded by his grandfather Henry Feuerstein in 1906, and following in the footsteps of his father Samuel C. Feuerstein, he has managed Malden Mills’ tremendous growth over the past five decades. Today, under Feuerstein’s direction, Malden Mills, with 3,000 employees, is the largest employer in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Sensitivity to the welfare of his employees and the conviction that those employees are most valued asset have…

    Aaron Feuerstein

    Aaron Feuerstein is the President and CEO of Malden Mills Industries, Inc. Leading the company founded by his grandfather Henry Feuerstein in 1906, and following in the footsteps of his father Samuel C. Feuerstein, he has managed Malden Mills’ tremendous growth over the past five decades.

    Today, under Feuerstein’s direction, Malden Mills, with 3,000 employees, is the largest employer in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Sensitivity to the welfare of his employees and the conviction that those employees are most valued asset have distinguished Feuerstein’s leadership of this $400 million business.

    On the night of December 11, 1995, a fire struck Malden Mills, destroying three out of ten of the factory’s century-old buildings. Feuerstein vowed that evening to rebuild the 90-year-old business, and announced that he would pay all his employees for the next 90 days and maintain full health care benefits for 180 days. Today, Malden Mills is one of the world’s most uniquely designed and technical textile mills, with production levels doubled since pre-fire.

    Aaron Feuerstein’s actions have swept the nation, earning him the praise of employees, union officials, and Americans across the country. He has been honored by many local and national organizations. His commitment to the welfare of others and his compassion in the face of adversity exemplify the spirit of the Salem Award.

  • 1995

  • Harry Wu

    Harry Wu is the foremost U.S. campaigner against the human rights violations committed by the Laogai system, as well as one of the founders of the Laogai Research Foundation. Harry Wu personally experienced the horrors of the Laogai prison system. Beginning when he was 23 years old, Harry Wu served 19 years in the Laogai for simply criticizing the policies of the Chinese Communist Party. Since his release he has taken it upon himself to expose the human rights abuses…

    Harry Wu

    Harry Wu is the foremost U.S. campaigner against the human rights violations committed by the Laogai system, as well as one of the founders of the Laogai Research Foundation. Harry Wu personally experienced the horrors of the Laogai prison system. Beginning when he was 23 years old, Harry Wu served 19 years in the Laogai for simply criticizing the policies of the Chinese Communist Party. Since his release he has taken it upon himself to expose the human rights abuses of the Laogai. In research gathering trips across China, posing undercover as a U.S. businessman or police officer, Wu has documented innumerable Laogai camps, detention centers, and instances of Laogai produced goods being exported to the United States. Mr. Wu currently serves as the Executive Director of the Laogai Research Foundation. He has also authored three books on the Laogai, including: The Chinese Gulag (1992), Bitter Winds: A Memoir of My Years in China’s Gulag (1994), and Troublemaker: One Man’s Crusade Against China’s Cruelty (1996).

    What is the Laogai Research Foundation?
    In 1992, the Laogai Research Foundation was established to gather information and spread public awareness on the Chinese Laogai. The Foundation publishes an annual Laogai Handbook, newsletters, special investigative reports, as well as assisting television media in preparing documentary films on the Laogai. Since its inception, the LRF has expanded its focus to document and report on other systemic human rights violations in China, including public executions, organ harvesting from executed prisoners, the coercive enforcement of China’s population control policy, and persecution of religious believers.

    E-mail: [email protected]
    Web: Laogai.org

  • 1994

  • William Johnston

    William Johnston is senior associate for police and community programs with the Facing History and Ourselves Law Enforcement Project, which helps law enforcement agencies integrate moral decision-making and personal integrity into professional policing education and police culture. A nationally known expert on identifying and investigating hate crimes, Johnston retired from the Boston Police Department as deputy superintendent in 1997, the year in which he was selected to receive the first Civil Rights Award given by the International Association of Police…

    William Johnston

    William Johnston is senior associate for police and community programs with the Facing History and Ourselves Law Enforcement Project, which helps law enforcement agencies integrate moral decision-making and personal integrity into professional policing education and police culture. A nationally known expert on identifying and investigating hate crimes, Johnston retired from the Boston Police Department as deputy superintendent in 1997, the year in which he was selected to receive the first Civil Rights Award given by the International Association of Police Chiefs. Johnston speaks nationally on tolerance and the toll that hate-motivated violence takes on families, neighborhoods, and society. Recently, he was keynote speaker at the White House conference on hate crimes.

    Excerpts from Lessons and Presentations
    In this excerpt, William Johnston responds to a student’s question about how his experience as an investigator of hate crimes helped him to understand first-hand, “How do people move from name-calling and words to out-and-out violence?”

    “For the first time in my life, I realized what it was to be a victim. I had never known that. As a police officer, I was there when? After the fact. I took the report and then I went off to my next call. The other lesson I learned: that if people perceive you as different, they treat you differently. You don’t even have to be different. As a decoy, if I was coming out of a straight bar, I was roughed up but only roughed up enough to get the money. Once you had the green, see you later until the back-up guys put them under arrest. But when I was coming out of a gay bar, the dynamics changed. It was always the words, “Kill the fag!” They perceived me as being gay, therefore I was different. And let me make this clear. When we’re dealing with those cowards, those haters, when they’re making you different, they’re making you less than them. And if they can do that to you, they can do anything they want to you. When my back-up officers would place those guys under arrest, they’d say, “What’s the beef?” They’d say, “You just robbed that guy.” They’d say, “But he’s only a fag!” To them, it wasn’t even a crime. It wasn’t an arrestable offense. In fact, they could go back into their community and brag, “I assaulted a person who was different.” How does it go from words to violence? Remember, when we’re dealing with haters, we’re dealing with cowards, and they don’t want to pay the price. So they always start with the words, and they step back to see if there’s any reaction. [They ask,] “Is anybody speaking up?” And if nobody’s speaking up, it goes up! And it’s assault, assault and battery. And they step back again. “Is anybody—the press, the media, the students, the teachers—is anybody saying anything?” If not, great! And it keeps on escalating up ’til somebody dies. And who killed that person? Was it the hater at that moment, or was it all of us [who] at any level could have said, “This will not be tolerated!”

  • 1992

  • Gregory Allan Williams

    During the 1992 “Rodney King” race riots in Los Angeles, California Gregory Allan Williams distinguished himself by rescuing a Japanese-American motorist who had been pulled out of his car and was being beaten by a mob. While being beaten himself, Williams was able to flag down a passing driver, help the severely injured man into the car where he was driven to the nearest hospital and underwent emergency surgery, which saved his life. A US Marine who became an actor…

    Gregory Allan Williams

    During the 1992 “Rodney King” race riots in Los Angeles, California Gregory Allan Williams distinguished himself by rescuing a Japanese-American motorist who had been pulled out of his car and was being beaten by a mob. While being beaten himself, Williams was able to flag down a passing driver, help the severely injured man into the car where he was driven to the nearest hospital and underwent emergency surgery, which saved his life. A US Marine who became an actor in 1988, Williams has an extensive filmography, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0930707/. He has also written several books including one about his experiences during the 1992 riots, A Gathering of Heroes: Reflections on Rage and Responsibility : A Memoir of the Los Angeles Riots, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Alan_Williams.