Nominations Received

Nominator Nominee Nominee’s email address Nominee’s phone number Nominee’s Organization Information Shared
Raj Patel S’bu Zikode [email protected] +27835470474

Abahlali baseMjondolo
Suite 517-20 Tower B
Salisbury Centre
347-351 Dr Pixley kaSeme aka West Street
Durban
4001
South Africa

Tel: 031 304 6420
Fax: 031 304 6436
Cell: (27) 083 547 0474

S’bu Zikode was the embodiment of the post-apartheid dream. He was whip-smart, all set for a career in the law as soon as he finished his undergraduate degree. He was a boy-scout leader in his home town of Estcourt in KwaZulu-Natal. From very humble beginnings, he was all set to live the dream of an engaged and committed leader in the late 1990s. After a few weeks at university, his mother fell ill. He had to drop out. He lived in a small tin shack next to a municipal trash heap in Durban, working at a petrol station, sending home whatever he could save. But he remained committed to the post-apartheid dream.

He joined, and then was elected to lead, the shack settlement development organization for the few hundred shack dwellers living by the rubbish dump. He was able to get commitments to put in water and sanitation systems for residents, and for the construction of a day-care facility for the children of residents whose jobs had them looking after the nearby children of Durban’s middle class.

The local ANC councillor made grand promises at election time, and betrayed them soon after. S’bu organized with other shack communities, and soon was elected to lead the South African Shack Dwellers organization, Abahlali baseMjondolo. His leadership has created an organization committed to equality and justice, by and for the urban poor. When the ANC fanned the flames of xenophobia, the Abahlali settlements were unique in being free of xenophobic violence. (The organization also has undocumented shackdwellers in positions of senior leadership, a direct consequence of S’bu’s vision.) Abahlali baseMjondolo is now the largest member-driven non-union non-governmental organization  in South Africa.

Now under Covid, while South Africa undergoes a wave of food rebellions, the Abahlali settlements have provided services, have stepped in where the government has failed utterly to provide for the urban poor, and has built a cadre of leaders throughout informal settlements in South Africa, who are able to be their own community leaders. The intentional process of mentorship and leadership development is central both to the success of the movement, and to its ability to provide for shackdwellers when the government refuses to.

These are very dark times in South Africa. Recognizing S’bu’s leadership would not only light a beacon of hope among those embattled shackdwellers in Durban, but spotlight a model for engaging in social change that matters to shackdwellers around the world.

Compaore R. Frederic Compaore R. Frederic [email protected] +22670564739

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Sector 34 borough 8
17 Postal box: 217 Ouagadougou 17

Convinced that people must be taken from their current level of consciousness to a higher one, Frederic has initiated a programme since 2018 to empower his country fellows on leadership and citizenship with the aim to eradicate the scourges such as terrorism, insecurity and population unconsciousness; bold and determined, he has been travelling in very austere conditions to rural areas with high risk of attacks to empower youth and adults on the types of leadership and citizenship they should apply in order to eradicate the insecurity problem in their areas. So far, more than 5,000 people have been skilled and this is a wonderful achievement that makes him happy and motivates him to keep up the good work.

Because of his revolutionary opinions on the current types of leadership, he is always cited as a complicated person unaware of realities by even some of his family members. As regard to his profession, he has been struggling to get opportunities as he is an independent worker in the field of water and sanitation. All these obstacles don’t disturb Frederic who is firmly attached to his values of equity, peace, sustainable development, that he treasures abundantly.

As of today, he has produced a manual entitled ‘’leadership and citizenship in a context of increasing terrorism” that has been shared with students to guide them, in their daily actions. Follow this link to read the manual (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1amB2Hc45zVwu5NqhMRxC1L36LN9L6ffD/view?usp=drive_open). Fredric in more than a mentor, as his work inspires many people of all ages. Regularly through the social media, he shares thoughts about relevant topics on his country life in order to incite the reflection and debate on the burning issues. Also, he publishes in some media to deal with relevant topic on development, follow this link to read an example of his paper (https://www.converseafrica.com/the-road-to-africas-development/ ).

His great job earned him a large attention from a large part of the world among which the United States; indeed, Purdue university interviewed him in order to learn more about the wonderful job he is doing and then make it known in their communities. The interview could be listen by following this link:  https://web.facebook.com/100000733047949/videos/3998810343486694/

Something important to mention is that Frederic has started his work with his own funds he saved from his job as a consultant and is conducting the programme the same way but with some timid supports.

Frederic is courageous leader, with a great vision for his community: his expects a community of shared prosperity, in peace and that motivates him so strongly that he strives by all means to do anything legal and morally normal to this end.

 

 

 

William Boadi Dennis Obeng Agyei [email protected] 0243949790

P.o.box 309 AKIM-Oda
+233

  1. I hereby nominate Dennis Obeng Agyei for this award. Thank you.
Prof Hardeep Singh Prof Hardeep Singh [email protected] 9464261044

Organization: IK GUJRAL PUNJAB TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY
Permanent Address:
Resident of SODHI COTTAGE
24-Shree Ram Avnue,
PO-Khanna Nagar
Majitha Road
Amritsar (Punjab) India
Pin 143001

Hardeep Singh (Senior Academician, Researcher, Author, Orator, Mentor, Motivational Speaker and
Life Coach) having 19 years of total experience (14 years of Academic with Engineering College & 05
years Corporate) is life member of various bodies like IAER, CSI, IACSIT, IEDRC, IFRSA, ISTD. He
has been honored as a “Patron Member” by WAIRCO (World Academic-Industry Research
Collaboration Organization) for the period of Life time. Currently he is affiliated with IKG-PTU, Kapurthala
(Punjab) India. His profile has been published in “WORLD BOOK OF RESEARCHERS 2018” at Oxford
United Kingdom. Furthermore to mention he has participated as a “KEY NOTE SPEAKER” in the
“WORLD BOOK OF RECORDS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ICMRI-2020” at Chennai. He has
been esteemed to address various conferences as Key-Note Speaker. He has attended 41 International
Conferences; 36 National Conferences, 11 UGC Seminars and 100+ Webinars/Workshops/FDPs/EDPs.
He has presented 100+ Research Papers/Articles. He has published 100+ Research Papers/Articles in
Conference Proceedings and journals of national/ international fame under the tag of publishers of well
repute like Elsevier, Scopus, IEEE, and Springer etc. He has guided 100+ projects to the students of
BTech and MBA. He has also guided MTech candidates for writing and publication of Research Papers.
He has authored four books with an International Publisher. His latest book (co-authored by Prof. J.S.
Jogi & Dr. DP Kothari-a well-known Scientist & Educationist) “Written & Oral Technical Communication
Skills for Engineers/Scientists” is available in 8 foreign languages. He has received numerous Awards-
Best Young Teacher Award 2016, Best Young Researcher Award 2017, Republic Day Achievers Award
2018, Excellent Teacher Award 2018, Mr. Education Icon 2018 (Mr. Energetic), Leadership Excellence
Award 2019, MTC Global Distinguished Teacher Award 2019, Living Legend Award, Young Philosopher
Award, Outstanding Educator Award 2019, GRABS Best Social Scientist Award-2020 and The World’s
Prestigious Global Educational Award 2020 Teacher’s Day Special Award-2020-Dr. Radhakrishnan Award
from prestigious institutions of international repute. Currently he has been invited as Conference Chair
for ICEG 2021 scheduled to take place from 13-14 August 2021 at Hong Kong. Furthermore to mention
he has been invited as Special Session Chair at The 2nd International Conference on Machine Intelligence
and Smart Systems 2021 (MISS-2K21) form Sep 24th-25th, 2021 in Gwalior, India and EEE’21-The 20th
International Conference on e-Learning, e-Business, Enterprise Information Systems, and
e-Government, from July 26th-July 29th,2021 being held jointly with 2021 World Congress in Computer
Science, Computer Engineering, and Applied Computing (CSCE’21) in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Asante Clement Obeng Dennis Agyei [email protected] +233 24 394 9790

P.o.box 309
AKIM Oda

Mr Obeng Dennis Agyei is the assemblymember of Oda Nkwanta. He always cherished buy the widows,orphans and the aged people in his community because of his numerous donations to them. He is also notable for investing in human resources. Examples are paying of fees for his community members in school and also helping community members who Good not have good formal education to aquire requisite vocational skills to better their lives.

Philemon Yaw Agyei Obeng Dennis Agyei [email protected] +233 24 394 9790

P.o.box 309
AKIM Oda

Mr Obeng Dennis Agyei is the assemblyman of Oda Nkwanta. He always cherished buy the widows,orphans and the aged people in his community because of his numerous donations to them. He is also notable for investing in human resources. Examples are paying of fees for his community members in school and also helping community members who Good not have good formal education to aquire requisite vocational skills to better their lives. He has also stood firm on the grounds to renovate school building by himself without any government or NGOs support. He was also help to prevent rigging

Dora Ohenewaa Obeng Dennis Agyei [email protected] +233 24 394 9790

P.o.box 309
AKIM Oda

  •  Obeng Dennis Agyei has done numerous and brave achievements for his community. These include;He always cherished buy the widows,orphans and the aged people in his community because of his numerous donations to them. He is also notable for investing in human resources. Examples are paying of fees for his community members in school and also helping community members who Good not have good formal education to aquire requisite vocational skills to better their lives. He has also stood firm on the grounds to renovate school building by himself without any government or NGOs support. He was also help to prevent rigging
Dorcas Tabuaa Obeng Dennis Agyei [email protected] +233 24 394 9790

P.o.box 309
AKIM Oda

  •  Obeng Dennis Agyei has done numerous and brave achievements for his community. These include;He always cherished buy the widows,orphans and the aged people in his community because of his numerous donations to them. He is also notable for investing in human resources. Examples are paying of fees for his community members in school and also helping community members who Good not have good formal education to aquire requisite vocational skills to better their lives. He has also stood firm on the grounds to renovate school building by himself without any government or NGOs support. He was also help to prevent rigging
Samuel Aning Bonsu Obeng Dennis Agyei [email protected] +233 24 394 9790

P.o.box 309
AKIM Oda

Mr Obeng Dennis Agyei is the assemblyman of Oda Nkwanta. He always cherished buy the widows,orphans and the aged people in his community because of his numerous donations to them. He is also notable for investing in human resources. Examples are paying of fees for his community members in school and also helping community members who Good not have good formal education to aquire requisite vocational skills to better their lives.

Verjee Kolhi Verjee Kolhi [email protected] 03440374666

Village Aalo Kolhi

Md. Kohinoor Hossain Md. Kohinoor Hossain [email protected] +8801846789678

Md. Kohinoor Hossain
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Islamic History & Culture
Dargapur Fazil Degree Madrasha
PO:Gournagar, PC:7471
District: Jashore, Zip Code: 7400
Province: Khulna, Country Code: 880, Country: Bangladesh

 Woman Leadership: An Islamic Perspectiv

Md. Kohinoor Hossain

Assistant Professor
Dept. of Islamic History & Culture
Dargapur Fazil Degree Madrasha
PO:Gournagar, PC:7471
District: Jashore, Zip Code: 7400
Province: Khulna, Country Code: 880, Country: Bangladesh

 

Abstract

Leadership is a fundamental way where people lead all kinds of sectors. In Islam, the women are the the greatest fit like the men. The men, what can perform as if the women, what can perform in the same. There are no differences among them. The men can lead all things on the earth but the women can do all things like them. Here is differentiated from biogenetic figures. It doesn’t matter. The Holy Qur’an and the Hadith have given all rights, equalities and leaderships for the women. At the first time of civilization the women start leading for any producing. Economic is upon their hand. From the second time of the beginning period of the human civilization, society is patriarchal, patrilineal, misogyny, tribal and male dominant. For this reason the women can’t perform leading as freedom.  Womankind has to weep for years after years and years. According to Islam, the women have all kind of rights, equalities and leaderships like the men. This book tries to explore leading of the women.  The advancement of this world goes equally to the men and the women. Now the leadership of the women is increasing day by day which is the most acceptable by Islam. The author has examined the classical exegesis and the Hadith which are explained against the misogynistic mind and Pre-Islamic cultural views. The socalled classical exegetes’ trust in the think and this society is dominated by a patriarchal and mysogynistic system. They have tried to explain their own and male opportunities based. The author has tried to reinvent and has cancelled their classical exegesises views and he has tried to remake the dictations of the Holy Quranic teachings. He has expected to prove the men and the women are equal in leading. The men, what they have done, the women, what they have done in the same. Both of the two men and women has been done by all equally. Rather the women have done three works more than the men. The three things are: Keep the kids in their womb, perform menstruation and feeding milk the kids. The men never have done them. It will be proved by the Holy Quran, the Hadith, the Izma and the Qius. In this regard, the women can lead the society, nation, education, family, economical role, cultural and religious teachings and all sectors where the Holy Quran says clearly to lead all sectors by the teaching of Islam independently. The contemporary Muslim ruling is proved the leadership of the women which is a must lawful. This research study tries to rediscover about the leadership of the women which is a must demandable and lawful for the choosing matter and obviously the womankinds may lead the whole world for the making of global peace in the future which Islam can hope a prospective destination that is aheading at a venturing for the recent and the future world.

Keywords:  Woman, Leadership, Society, Politics, Economics, Education and Culture

SHALOM DIRIBSA DIRIBSA TESFA MIRESSA (PhD) [email protected] +251911589848

WOGAGEN BANK, JIMMA

DIRIBSA TESFA MIRESSA (PHD)

MOBILE; +251911589848

VICE PRESIDENT OF BANK

Elaine Duncan Liz Taishoff Sweigart [email protected] (832) 696-6462

PriceWaterhouseCoopers
1000 Louisiana St, Suite 5800
Houston, TX 77002

Liz Taishoff Sweigart embodies courageous leadership.
In the midst of a major depressive episode culminating in suicidal ideation, Liz made the difficult decision to step away from her career as a partner at Partner at PwC to focus on her mental health. She could have kept her reasons for taking a leave of absence private, but she chose not to. As a leader in the global business community, she recognized an opportunity to demonstrate leadership through transparency and honesty. She also knew that her silence would speak volumes. If she couldn’t be honest about her experience, what chance would someone without her access and privilege have to be open? She also recognized that it was not good leadership to leave her colleagues to tell a story they didn’t think was theirs to tell or feel like they had to lie to protect her reputation.
Liz made her decision to take a mental health leave public through social media and her blog (http://seriouslyjerkbrain.com) because she wanted others facing depression, anxiety, and other challenges to feel seen and that they were not alone. She wanted to show that she was taking a break, but she was not broken.
Upon returning to work this past January, Liz shared her story again through social media. Her LinkedIn post was seen by more than 1.5 million people.
The response was overwhelmingly positive and Liz used the opportunity to continue to lead on the topic of mental health and mental wellness, particularly at work. She has since published several articles and given numerous talks, engaging with business leaders and employees at major companies around the world, on the subject of mental health at work. She led a panel discussion with other executive leaders at the GlobalMindED conference on the topic of supporting employees in times of crisis and beyond. She has also continued to advocate for better policy regarding mental health resources and access. She has given her time in group settings and one-on-one. She’s also joined the advisory board of a mental health technology start-up, providing guidance and a unique perspective to the CEO, with the goal of making mental health resources more equitable and accessible for those who need them most.
For someone in her position to be so open and public about her struggles with mental health is huge because the stigma is real, but so is the powerful message of hope that she delivers. Liz took a major professional and personal risk to show leadership in this area.
Liz took this bold step to share her story widely and be a role model for others because she felt a responsibility and obligation as a leader to be bold and take a stand even when the subject is treated as taboo.
Mental health is the global pandemic no one is talking about and it requires leaders like Liz to help normalize the conversation and show that there is reason for hope and that no one need feel that they are alone in this struggle. She has been a great inspiration and support to me and many others.
Thank you for your consideration.
Teye Odonkor Dennis Obeng Agyei [email protected] +233243949790

P.O.Box 309,
Akim, Oda
Zip code: 233
Country: Ghana

I nominate Assembly Man Dennis Obeng Agyei as a courageous leader who deserves this award. As a leader of his assembly and a member of the ruling government, he disagreed with some of the policies of government and even asked some of his colleagues to reject the confirmation of some district chief executives whom he believes would not serve for the common good of the people. Being a bold and selfless leader, he stood in for his colleagues and advised them to reject motorcycles provided by government if their real needs are not met. He also used his own resources to mobilize assembly members under on umbrella to meet the past and current heads of state. Using that initiative, they were also able to meet other chiefs and also the chief Imam to discuss issues about how best to lead in their various communities. Even though he has much respect and love for other leaders, of which chiefs are not excluded, there were instances where he had to question the decisions of some chiefs in his community and surrounding communities. One typical example was when he had to challenge and go against the directive of a chief by securing a land for the Nkwanta M/A school, and this was for the common good of the people in that locality. As courageous and bold as he is, without fear from authorities, he was the only member to challenge the results of a presiding member in his community during the recent elections as a result of identified disparities. Irrespective of where he stands or what his party does, he only believes in one thing, which is change in promoting the common good of his people. To prove that, he helped to achieve a lot for his community. Some of his notable achievements as a courageous leader include renovation of schools in his assembly, donation to charity, extension of electricity to every corner of his electoral area, as well as building of drains. He also assisted in securing job placements for the youth in his community, as well as building rice factory which now provides job for some of the youth in the community. He has been, and continues to pay fees and hospital bills for the less privileged people in his community. He also assisted in the building of library and computer laboratory in his community. The youth see him as a role model and look up to him in so many aspects of life, hence follow and support most of his activities. That is also the more reason why they keep voting for him as assembly man to lead them. Honorable Dennis Obeng Agyei is a selfless and courageous leader, who is always ready to serve his people and defend them at all cost. He truly deserves this recognition.

Kurt E Briner Master Sergeant Greggory K. Addison [email protected] 260-444-7079

122d Fighter Wing, Indiana Air National Guard
3005 W. Ferguson Road
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46809

Over the course of 2020 and into 2021, MSgt Greg Addison served his State and community by volunteering to activate with the Indiana National Guard as part of a country-wide response to the Global COVID-19 pandemic. On extended activation, his primary focus was the mental, emotional and physical well-being of over 500 responding citizen Soldiers and Airmen. Facing extremely long work hours, make-shift facilities and repurposed infrastructure, Greg maintained awareness of mission needs and performed health and wellfare checks as part of the state’s crisis intervention team while the National Guard worked to test and vaccinate Hoosiers. He also spent time in an Operational Headquarters position, taking feedback from the various sights and responding to ensure needs were met at the lowest level. When performing normal military duty, Greg is a First Sergeant – a critical link in mentoring, developing and empowering young services members through continuous deployments and activations protecting our National interests overseas. This role is unique and personally selected by commanders, as the First Sergeant is a trusted mentor, councilor and leader to junior enlisted Airmen. This often results in late-night calls for response to assist and advocate for members through challenges such as divorce, financial distress as well as substance abuse and PTSD. He works hand-in-hand with our military Director of Psychological health, addressing difficult issues to ensure Airmen receive the treatment and support they need. He has also been hand-selected to sit on various organizational improvement initiatives focusing on increasing diversity to combating sexual harassments in the workplace.  All of these assignments have made him an invaluable asset to commanders as well as a regularly sought-out, trusted source for guidance and honest leadership. Out of uniform and into another, Greg’s primary occupation is as a law enforcement officer for the city of Fort Wayne, Indiana serving a diverse population and acting as a force of positivity with a city and nation struggling with complex socioeconomic challenges.  Academically, Greg has proven to be a lifelong student of leadership. His undergraduate and master’s programs focused on Organizational Leadership, and he was recently selected to attend a brand new PhD program – Global Leadership – with Indiana Technical College. This program will take Greg overseas this fall to Switzerland as part of a summit to discuss bringing leadership to underprivileged, marginalized populations. His resume of professional military education is robust, with over a half dozen leadership oriented, intensive courses from both the US Army and US Air Force. In what little free time he has, Greg has coached youth girls basketball, is active in his community church and has even hosted his own radio segment locally focusing on leadership challenges in the Law Enforcement & community policing area. In summary, MSgt Greg Addison truly embodies the core attributes of a successful leader. He relentlessly drives for empowerment of others, demonstrates courage in the face of adversity and selflessly promotes those below him without asking for anything in return. I hope you will consider him for this prestigious award. Thank you for your time!

Alex Jones Alex Jones [email protected] 00971568443877

American University in the Emirates
Apartment 41C, Rolex Tower, DIFC Area,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 00000

I am nominating myself for this award and it is the first time I do so. I was hesitant to do it. But I wanted to share with you these fact. As an American citizen, who migrated to the wonderful great country – the United States of America, my journey was not full of roses road. The fled the war of Iraq after living and witnessing the 2003 war. I lived every single day almost losing my education. I did not lose hope. Hope what kept my look forward. I escaped the country and never looked back since 2005. I settled in Dubai to find a job and managed to bring my parents, and only brother, who was attacked by the militia of Iraq. After going through many struggle, I managed to reach the united stated landing in the great state of California. With years of struggle, trying to find my own living to be able to support my parents, I worked full time and completed my Ph.D. enrolled in a full time study to finally succeed to earn a Ph.D. in Leadership. I lost of father for cancer and almost lost my hope for completing my Ph.D. But the courageous act made me put myself altogether and earn the Ph.D.

I went ahead to relocate to Dubai once again to create an impact. Many students in the middle east and this part of the world dream of having the American education. I wanted to to give them the taste of that after sacrificing relocating to Dubai leaving the beautiful San Diego city so that I create a change on peoples’ lives. Many are not able to voice their opinions and be able to go through the change. The top in organization have the final talk and no one else. It is a dominating factor. After spending over three years and a half of research while teaching undergraduate business major student, I published a book that can help many to go through what they are not capable of doing. It is the one and only title in the world, titled DISLEADERSHIP: 30 must know models for sustainable organizations.

The aim was to help many recognize the dark leadership and leader. It helps them identify the dark culture. It speaks their mind. All of this was written after suffering I faced in many organizations and from many leaders I worked with. The courageous act continues in me to help many getting educated and be able to speak loudly. That’s my goal and that’s what I am dedicating myself to do.

This is just a brief and I think many should learn from it that hope and courage are not easy to do or maintain. I am leading by example and wanting to let people know that Americans are all about hope and courage. This is my mission and I hope I can show many the way and my books is one way to do so and me being an educator is another way.

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity and May God Bless.

Darlene Lorraine Gibson Darlene Lorraine Gibson [email protected] 267-684-9233

Divine Healing and Wholeness Ministry, Inc. and Becoming Whole in Your Soul, LLC
8562 Temple Road
Philadelphia, Pa 19150

I would like to nominate myself, Darlene Loraine Gibson, for the 2021 Larraine R. Matusak Courageous Leadership Award. For the last 16 years, I have been working hard to eradicate domestic violence, the mental health stigma associated with disability, help individuals and organizations understand the effects of trauma, and unjust employment actions. This has caused me at times to leave some places of employment untimely, as well as disconnect from other organizations. It has not been the easiest or popular thing to do, but doing so has allowed me to continue to fight for the rights of societal change and inner growth. Many individuals, children, families, and communities are constantly in need of encouragement and empowerment due to the affects and results of these societal problems. Starting in 2005, I became unemployed after working on the same job for 15 years due to some of these very issues. Although, later I was taught that it was my coping skills that needed to be adapted.

Initially, I joined The Women’s Center of Pennsylvania helping and volunteering as an advocate to help support women and families of domestic violence. Simultaneously, I joined in as a volunteer with the Family Resource Center located in Friends Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa to assist individuals and families struggling with mental health issues. I was also hot-line and peer counselor at the Women’s Center as a volunteer and completed a training course for PA Coalition of Domestic Violence an internship there. I also remained faithful as a family resources office volunteer within Friends Hospital from about 2005 to 2011.

Immediately following, I decided to enroll in college as an adult student to Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania. First, I entered their New Options, New Choices program, and then I was tested and accepted into their associated degree program for Human Services. It was an inspirational and empowering journey. Since, I began this path late in life, I had to take remedial classed in Algebra, and English to qualify. Half way through my endeavor, I was fortunate to receive a scholarship for second chance students during this tenure, June 27, 2009, from the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Phi Beta Omega Chapter, for $1,250.00 under the Leadership PBO Chapter President, Margaret Wright, and Linda A Wood, PBO Scholarship Chairman. While in this program, I learned a lot about societal issues and personal struggles and graduated Cum Laude, May 19, 2011.

After graduating from this program, I entered the Chestnut Hill Bachelor’s program for the Human Services Degree. During these terms, I had been dealing with my own personal problems, family issues, and emotional and mental health conditions/struggles. During these challenges and times, I was also dedicated to church service, prayer, teaching youth, and being a dedicated mother to my children. There were moments of encouragement, support, and strength from my then husband, while going through, with many times of separation. I am grateful for the support of our children, parents, family, and church family/pastor, mentors and leadership. I also received disability services and mental health therapy which all helped me get to the point of completion. I could not say it was one thing that got me through when in fact it was a combination of all of the above, with God being my centering, stronghold, peace, and constant helper.

Furthermore, I began a master’s Program through Liberty University upon graduation of Chestnut Hill College. I began the program in 2013 but did not complete it until 2020. Mostly, this was due to unjust and unnecessary interruptions which I had no control over. I boldly and triumphantly overcame domestic violence, rape, mental/emotional health issues, injustices within organizations, and other struggles by graduating, nonetheless. I changed my major several times, started and stopped several times, failed some classes, and had to retake them, but I never lost hope or my desire to see it through. I have worked as a Family Advocate, Childcare Worker, Preschool Teacher, Parent Resource Support Worker, Site Coordinator, Postal Worker/Clerk, Assistant Program Coordinator/Intern/Instructor of conflict resolution, Domestic Abuse Counselor, and an After School Group Supervisor.

I am currently prayerfully in the process of finishing a post graduate certificate program in military resilience and a trauma informed specialist certificate program. If I am awarded the scholarship, I assure you that it will be used effectively to help continue to create ways to support, provide, empower, and collaborate with individuals, organizations, and the community at large in societal change and social justice for more equitable and peaceful world for all.

My goal then and now is to be a change agent, motivator, beacon, example, and vessel that is used by God to affect change, growth, and empowerment to others. I have worked in many roles within the human services field to help teach, support, guide, encourage, and motivate children, adults, and families. I have also worked with organizations to help bring about societal changes within the community and the life of individuals and families. Every role has been rewarding and inspiring. My latest projects and roles have been connected to my personal passion for creating societal change, growth, and community strengthening for individuals and families.

These roles are that of starting a business, Becoming Whole in Your Soul, LLC, which was created to help individuals and families ‘Build Bounce’. I am also the Founder of Divine Healing and Wholeness Ministry, Inc. which was created to peacefully create a place of healing, hope, peace, community, societal growth, and justice ‘Victoriously’, while acknowledging trauma-informed perspectives. I am currently working on the completion of a book/testimonial, One Woman’s Testimony of a Transformed Life: A Tumultuous Journey. I am excited to be afforded the opportunity to join with you and submit a nomination for the 2021 Laraine R. Matusak Courageous Leadership Award, through the Alliance and Leadership Fellows (ALF) Board. I am looking forward to seeing how we can together affect societal change, motivate, encourage, and continue this movement of being bold, fearless leaders.

Laura Villa Dr. Beatriz “Betty”Valencia [email protected] 9496063638

2439 E Orangeview Lane Orange, CA. 92867

Betty is an ILA member, and ILA am I am her wife. We both joined ILA in Brussels, where she presented a case with her colleagues in 2017. Beatriz “Betty” Valencia, while obtaining her Ph.D. at Chapman and working full-time, activated her leadership in the City of Orange. During a tough time in our country. In 2016 while attending local city council meetings, Betty noted several deficiencies. First, Betty noted the council lacked the representation that reflected the actual population of the city. While performing research on the city council, she noted a pattern of holding seats by many members. This prompted her to start to attend and study the city council. While in a very traumatic and divisive meeting, Betty decided to run for a council seat. Betty had no political background but was moved to run for several main reasons: First, she ran as an openly queer woman. In the city’s history, that was lacking and spoke to the sentiment of lack of acceptance and diversity. There was an act of violence during a meeting ending in a man pulling a knife after many homophobic slurs during her run. This hate incident did not deter Betty; in fact, she committed further and was named in the Districting Lawsuit of the city. Successful districting was implemented, and now the council has more women of color and recently fought for LGBTQIA representation during Pride Month. Betty is well known in Orange County as the first immigrant, Latina, queer woman of color to run fully open and unapologetic.

Betty’s authentic leadership continues to attract many of the students and community in Orange. As a result of national attention and local attention, the city of Orange has continued to change toward a more inclusive and representative city. Betty speaks as a guest speaker in many University/College classrooms, meetings, groups, clubs, national organizations, and local. She is a role model for many students and continues to represent the future of city politics. Betty was named one of the 2019 Orange County top influencers and awarded Women of the year by Congressmember Lou Correa. Betty continues to speak on civic engagement, motivate younger people to get involved, and dedicates her time to organizations like HIRE for re-entry of formerly incarcerated members, OCEJ Orange County Environmental Justice, UCI Pfas Study of the water in our communities, and SCC Vice-President of Santiago Community College where she advocates for equity and representation of POC in our community colleges.

 

If you hear Betty speak, you will understand why her voice is needed and be moved by her unique inspirational words that are listened to nationwide. She receives recognition and refuses to be intimidated by threats or hate that often surrounds POC, women, and LGBTQIA members. Betty carries many identities and makes her a perfect candidate for the courageous leadership award. Do not miss this great opportunity.

https://www.votebettyvalencia.com

Binta Bala Binta Bala [email protected] +1237065890770

Sophiaessahmed foundation
Jarkasa close, off Emir palace road
Kano city, kano state Nigeria
Zip code 700231

The synopsis of the nominee’s courageous leadership contributions that exhibit her ability as a effective agent of change in promoting the common good in difficult times and situation.

Binta Bala is the program coordinator of Sophiaesahmed foundation. She deserve this position because of her courageous leadership attitude and skills she exhibited. She is a PhD student at Bayero University Kano,a teacher at special education school Tudun Maliki kano and a mother of two children .

Her self esteem, awareness, confidence  courage , determination and compassion to help the special needs people in the state makes her generous. She is honest , trustworthy, integrity and passionate about her work .

Her physical disability does not hinder her home, work and organizational commitment especially at this pendamic season [covid-19] and other difficult times.

She participated in so many educational programs awareness, girl child education programs and special needs education for the disables. She coordinated programs both in schools and working  places to sensitized the students and people about the covid-19 disease.

Binta’s notable achievement is her educational career achievement  As a special need lady, she is so determined and dedicated to prove to her community that there is ability in disability.. She will be the first PhD disable lady in her community.

She was looked by others as a role model, many are imitating her as an example. Her name was always called whenever people are citing references in her community.

Her passion to help others people especially women and children with disabilities are the most important contributions she makes. She has the required educational experience and skills and garnered many years experience as a special education teacher.

Binta is a great mentor and a woman having a passion for inclusion in the world.

elaine duncan Linda Appel Lipsius [email protected] 720-250-7003

Denver Urban Gardens
1031 33rd Street
Suite 100
Denver, CO 80205

It’s my great pleasure to nominate Linda Appel Lipsius. Linda was one of the first people I met when I moved to Denver a few years ago.

Linda currently serves as the Executive Director at Denver Urban Gardens  (DUG is the largest community garden org in the U.S.) and the  Co-Founder of Teatulia Organic Teas.

Since 2006, she’s been working with her partners in Bangladesh to bring premium-quality, 100% Organic, direct-sourced teas from a previously-unknown growing region to the United States.

She has built brands known for doing things better – from the regenerative gardens to beautiful and sustainable packaging.

Her leadership has transformed DUG as well. The work she has done to support DUG’s Immigrant farmers has been most impressive- she has made it a priority with connect with them in so many meaningful ways, including making translators a priority. Her team adores her. She’s one of the hardest working women I’ve ever worked with. She cares. A lot. Linda is a superior example of divine feminine leadership.

I admire her so much that I decided to accept her invitation to join the team at DUG last month!

Named one of Food & Wine/ Fortune’s 20 Most Innovative Women in Food & Wine, Linda is a leading, yet humble, voice in topics ranging from gardening, climate change and entrepreneurship to women in business to sustainable business practices to clean food.

Linda also started the mama ‘hood (a resource for new & expecting moms & their families) following her own struggles when she was a new mom. The “mama” hood creates community and offers many forms of support.

A Denver Native, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Columbia University in New York City and her MBA in finance from New York University before moving to London, Los Angeles then back to Denver.

She now lives in Denver with her film maker husband Adam and her 11 & 9 year old Dorothy & Eli. In her spare time, Linda hangs with her family, escapes to the mountains, reads books, bikes, runs or practices yoga.

She is a mentor and role model to many.

Linda’s empathetic but direct style makes those around her feel seen. She is a true servant leader who deeply cares about the earth and all of its inhabitants.

Thank you for your kind consideration.

 

Thomas Horrocks Gregory Addison [email protected] 2604447079

Indiana Air National Guard
122 Fighter Wing Logistics Readiness Squadron
3005 Ferguson Road, Ft. Wayne, IN 46819

  1. Gregory Addison, in his role as senior noncommissioned officer in the Indiana Air National Guard, volunteered to support the state of Indiana’s COVID response element during the height of the pandemic. In what amounted to be the equivalent of a domestic deployment, Gregory spent considerable time away from his home and family as he traveled across the state as a member of the Resilience and Emotional Support Team (REST). As a senior noncommissioned adviser on the REST team, Gregory provided mentorship, coaching, and support to the soldiers and airmen working on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19. His advocacy and support for these service members allowed them to maintain a high level of readiness and resilience and to stay focused on the vital mission of saving lives during the greatest public health crisis Indiana has seen in the last century.
  2. Gregory spent more than nine months traveling across the state of Indiana conducting site visits, mentoring sessions, and service member interventions at more than 200 hundred long-term care facilities and COVID screening, testing, and vaccination sites. During this mission he helped to identify and resolve pay and administrative issues, leadership conflicts, and individual service member crises. On two occasions, Gregory’s courageous intervention helped put a stop to situations involving sexual harassment and assault.
  3. As a senior noncommissioned officer with experience in both the Army and the Air Force, Gregory was uniquely positioned to offer mentorship and coaching to young Air Force service members working on a predominately Army-led mission. In addition to helping these service members navigate their professional military roles, he also provided mentorship and advice to several service members experiencing personal hardships. Finally, Gregory helped lead anti-extremism trainings to help promote an environment of tolerance and inclusion with regard to diversity in the military.
John Jacob Zucker Gardiner John William Gardner deceased deceased

Stanford University among many others.

John William Gardner who delivered Stanford University’s 100th anniversary commencement address was a mentor to many of us. Secretary of HEW under President Lyndon Johnson where he launched Medicare, he was a champion of citizen participation and campaign finance reform. Gardner founded Common Cause and Independent Sector. He authored many great books including On Leadership and Excellence: Can We Be Equal and Excellent too? He founded the White House Fellows Program and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964. He served for many years on the Stanford University’s Board as well as a Trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Educational Testing Service. Serving with John Gardner on the American Council of Education’s Leadership Task Force, I accepted his offer to mentorship that he offered to members of the task force and spent the next 30 years visiting him as a professor of leadership studies at Stanford University. John W. Gardner was the greatest leader and most courageous human being that I have ever had the honor to know. He died of cancer in San Francisco on February 16, 2002. The Gardner Center at Stanford University partners with communities around the world to develop leadership, conduct research, and help change the lives of young people for the better. As he is most famous for saying: “The first and last task of a leader is to keep hope alive.” I can think of no other person more deserving of being the first recipient of the Larraine Matusak Courageous Leadership Award!

Maushum Basu Kehkashan Basu [email protected] 16473348410

Organisation:
Green Hope Foundation (https://www.greenhopefoundation.com ) is a Canadian registered Not for Profit, that now works in 25 countries. It is one of the few youth led organisations globally that is accredited to UNEP, UNCCD and ECOSOC.

Address of nominee :
88 Broadway Avenue, Suite : 1301
Toronto Ontario M4P 0A5
Canada

Although only 21 years old, Kehkashan has been championing the rights of children and youth, especially girls and those from marginalized communities, using education for sustainable development as a transformative tool to provide them with the skills, knowledge and behaviors to think and act for a sustainable future. She believes that every child has the right to education, to a clean environment and the freedom to decide their own destiny. She is distraught that she is growing up in a world where billions of dollars are spent on producing weapons of mass destruction while thousands of children die of hunger, disease, by drinking contaminated water, especially in the global south. These communities suffer disproportionately from the impacts of pandemics, from climate change and from biodiversity loss although they are least responsible for it.  She believes that her generation is the last one that has the opportunity to rectify these challenges before it is too late – yet the children and youth fraternity continue to be ignored, under-represented and left behind while policy-makers continue to debate and procrastinate about the future of our planet. She does not accept this situation and founded her social innovation enterprise, Green Hope Foundation (www.greenhopefoundation.com)  , through which for the past 13 years she has been working to engage and educate  marginalised youth – refugees , orphans , the homeless – ignoring threats of physical harm, cyberbullying and violence while pursuing her mission. Her work has benefited over 165,000 vulnerable youth, women and girls from 25 countries. For her work, she has been recognised as a United Nations Human Rights Champion, a Forbes 30 under 30 for education and as one of Canada’s Top25 Women of Influence. She has recently been featured as one of the Top100 SDG Leaders of the world. A powerful voice for future generations, she has spoken at over 250 global forums across 25 countries to influence policy making and demand greater inclusivity of young people in the decision-making processes.

Her changemaking challenges the status quo and has thrown immense obstacles her way. Can you imagine the trauma if as an 8 year old you started receiving crude, malicious emails ? Or be threatened with physical violence by an adult for speaking up about children’s rights ? Or be the focus of a social media hate campaign by jealous , older youth who felt threatened by a 12 year old , who had just been elected as the youngest ever Global Coordinator for United Nations Environment Programmes Youth caucus. For the past 13 years , Kehkashan has looked at all these challenges squarely in the eye and has moved ahead undeterred , to war zones on the Syria – Lebanon border , to Kutupalong – the world’s largest refugee camp that houses 1.5million Rohingya refugees on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border , to dense tropical rainforests of the Sunderbans to provide sustainability education to the world’s most marginalised and vulnerable children and youth. At the age of 12, she was amongst the youngest delegates at the Rio+20 Earth Summit and was aghast at the complete exclusion of children’s voices in the formulation of the global sustainability agenda. Determined to change this inequality, she founded Green Hope , her social innovation enterprise to provide children and youth , especially girls and those who are marginalised, a platform to learn about sustainability issues and processes and then translate this learning into grassroots actions in their local communities.

 

Her recent projects:

a). Empowering Rohingya refugee children in Cox Bazar, Bangladesh: Green Hope conducted sustainability workshops for 2600 Rohingya refugee children in Kutupalong – the world’s largest refugee camp. They also provided them with books, clothes and toys.

b). Project for vulnerable communities in Bangladesh – displaced by floods and impact of Covid: Green Hope is currently providing food rations, gloves, masks, sanitary napkins to over 6000 displaced persons and migrants in the municipality of Gopalganj in Bangladesh. This is a 2 year project that Green Hope has embarked upon since March2020 to support these displaced persons who have no sources of income and depend only on begging for food. Her solution is addressing the economic situation by training them on sustainable farming , poultry and thereafter providing seeds and poultry for them to become self-employed entrepreneurs. Green Hope is also educating them on hygiene and sanitation, building toilets, as well providing sustainability education to their children. She has provided a permanent source of clean drinking water through rainwater harvesting installations and deep bore tube-wells. Through this project, she is establishing a local circular economy in these villages and elevating these vulnerable communities out of poverty and into a life of dignity.

  1. Green Hope is providing environmental education to children of refugees and asylum seekers who have immigrated to Canada. Through its partnership with the Toronto District School Board, Canada’s largest, Green Hope is providing environmental education to its student with the goal of engaging all of their 250,000 students in 600 schools over a period of 3 years.
  2. In 2019, she led Green Hope in providing sustainability education through a series of workshops to 2000 displaced orphan children who lost their parents to conflict and violence , or are in prisons in Kenya. Green Hope also provided them with books, clothes , school supplies as well water storage containers – so that the girls in these communities do not have to walk for several miles each day to collect water due to which they miss school.
  3. In Liberia, she is working with local youth in villages to install solar panels that provide electrification, thereby creating safe spaces for young people to study and thus move away from a life of drugs and crime. This IT literacy project driven by clean energy will educate more than 2000 young girls.

She is a self-less young woman who is leading the youth movement for peace and disarmament and is using disarmament education to mobilise civil society to influence nations to abandon weapons and nuclear programs.

https://academicimpact.un.org/content/disarmament-education-youth-forefront-disarmament-dialogue

Dr Kandi kamala Dr Kandi kamala [email protected] 09182936331

Dr. Kandi. Kamala, M.A., B.Ed., NET., SET., Ph.D.
Asst. Professor, Department of Political Science,
Government Degree College for Women Beugmpet,
Osmania University, Hyderabad, India. 500016

Dr.K.Kamala,  M.A., B.Ed., NET., SET., Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Dept. of  Political Science, Government Degree College for Women (Autonomous) Begumpet, (Affiliated) to Osmania University, Hyderabad, Telangana State, India. She was awarded Doctorate from the Department of Political Science, Osmania University Hyderabad, India, on “Demand for smaller states: A study of Telangana” in the year 2017. To her credit she has conducted a two day National seminar on “Higher Education in India: Emerging Challenges “in Collaboration with ICSSR, TSCHE and RUSA in the year 2019 and also Conducted National Webinar on “Determinants of Indian Foreign Policy”. She has written three books and has edited three books and also published four book reviews in UGC care list journals. She is the Associate Editor for 04 International Journals and Member of Editorial Board & reviewer for nearly 32 UGC care list Peer-Reviewed and Refereed Journals of National and International level.  She has 9 National and International memberships in various associations. She has been member of Board of Studies in the Dept. of Political Science, Osmania University during 2017-2019. She has presented papers in more than one dozen International and National Conferences and seminars. She has one dozen International reputed Journal Publications and 15 reputed Publications at National level. She has more than 15 years of teaching and research experience. She is primarily interested in teaching and research in the areas of public policy.

 

Timothy J. Churchard William T. Cuff [email protected] 603-652-9842

Unlimited Possibilities
P.O. Box 613
Milton, New Hampshire
03851

Bill is a founding member of “Unlimited Possibilities”, a non-profit, charitable foundation, that gives away in grants to people in need of about $50,000.00 a year. “UP” has recipients in Africa, Latin America and the U.S.A. Bill was a “Peace Corps” volunteer and has carried on the mission since the 60’s. He is the leader , arranging volunteer trips to all three of these continents covering the last 20 odd years. He leads the trips and the Organization. He has been leading monthly “zoom” meetings in “Anti-Racism” and “Environmental Awareness” This small “UP” group has given away hundreds of thousands of dollars and volunteer hours. He is the primary unselfish Mover and Leader,who makes this happen year in and out. I have been in Education for over 50 years and have never, come even close to meeting anyone more dedicated and unselfish in his life of giving. He absolutely makes this world better.

Literally in his PhD dissertation he created new ground in the study of the characteristics and contributing factors of “Courage and courageous behavior in every day life. On file at the University of Minnesota.

Ama Baafi Obeng Dennis Obeng Agyei [email protected] +233243949790

P.O. Box 309
AKIM Oda

Dennis Agyei, since I have known him, has always been one to call out the wrongs and faults regardless of whether it is glaringly obvious, or goes unnoticed by others. He has also always been one to act upon desired changes, instead of simply pointing them out and waiting for it to be fixed by somebody else. There has never been an instance where he has backed away from a situation because of a difficulty or challenge. With very limited resources, Dennis has been able to hold fundraisers for charity, championed the welfare of assembly members through the meetings of past and present leaders, and mobilized all assembly members under one umbrella. Although sometimes things may seem impossible or a task may seem daunting, he has never strayed from or abandoned a cause without first trying to the best of his ability to rectify it. One of his most notable achievements as a courageous leader was when he single-handedly challenged the chiefs, and succeeded in securing a land for the Nkwanta M/A school. When it comes to the topic of being granted land in Ghana, the process can be strenuous and more often than not results in denial or dismissal. It was almost formidable to watch Dennis Agyei not only answer to why the land was necessary, but also question the chiefs in a manner that was respectful yet left no room for the topic at hand to be simply brushed off. By being able to secure the land for the school, it is important to note that this will not only be beneficial for the students of this generation but for future generations of students as well. Another prominent achievement of his was when he was the only member to openly challenge the result of a presiding member without the fear of any repercussions. Dennis is a man of fairness and justice, and is not afraid to stand his ground especially when he knows that others are quiet only because they are scared to voice out their own opinions. It is in these situations that he takes charge send acts a representative of said people; to give them a voice even without them having to utter a single word out loud. As long as Dennis knows that something needs to be done a certain manner, nothing stops him from making sure that it is done in said manner. It is for that sole reason that the list of his contributions to the community is might be a little too lengthy. To name a few, Dennis Agyei has helped in renovation of schools, building a library and a computer lab, providing mechanized water and electricity to every corner of the electoral area, building of a rice factory, building of drains, creating job opportunities, securing job placements for electorates and local citizens, and paying off hospital and school fees for those that are unable to do so. He is a natural born leader, who I know will bring honor and progress to whichever place he steps into now and in the future. 

Ama Baafi Obeng Dennis Obeng Agyei [email protected] +233243949790

P.O. Box 309
AKIM Oda

Dennis Agyei, since I have known him, has always been one to call out the wrongs and faults regardless of whether it is glaringly obvious, or goes unnoticed by others. He has also always been one to act upon desired changes, instead of simply pointing them out and waiting for it to be fixed by somebody else. There has never been an instance where he has backed away from a situation because of a difficulty or challenge. With very limited resources, Dennis has been able to hold fundraisers for charity, championed the welfare of assembly members through the meetings of past and present leaders, and mobilized all assembly members under one umbrella. Although sometimes things may seem impossible or a task may seem daunting, he has never strayed from or abandoned a cause without first trying to the best of his ability to rectify it. One of his most notable achievements as a courageous leader was when he single-handedly challenged the chiefs, and succeeded in securing a land for the Nkwanta M/A school. When it comes to the topic of being granted land in Ghana, the process can be strenuous and more often than not results in denial or dismissal. It was almost formidable to watch Dennis Agyei not only answer to why the land was necessary, but also question the chiefs in a manner that was respectful yet left no room for the topic at hand to be simply brushed off. By being able to secure the land for the school, it is important to note that this will not only be beneficial for the students of this generation but for future generations of students as well. Another prominent achievement of his was when he was the only member to openly challenge the result of a presiding member without the fear of any repercussions. Dennis is a man of fairness and justice, and is not afraid to stand his ground especially when he knows that others are quiet only because they are scared to voice out their own opinions. It is in these situations that he takes charge send acts a representative of said people; to give them a voice even without them having to utter a single word out loud. As long as Dennis knows that something needs to be done a certain manner, nothing stops him from making sure that it is done in said manner. It is for that sole reason that the list of his contributions to the community is might be a little too lengthy. To name a few, Dennis Agyei has helped in renovation of schools, building a library and a computer lab, providing mechanized water and electricity to every corner of the electoral area, building of a rice factory, building of drains, creating job opportunities, securing job placements for electorates and local citizens, and paying off hospital and school fees for those that are unable to do so. He is a natural born leader, who I know will bring honor and progress to whichever place he steps into now and in the future. 

Ama Baafi Obeng Dennis Obeng Agyei [email protected] +233243949790

P.O. Box 309
AKIM Oda

Dennis Agyei, since I have known him, has always been one to call out the wrongs and faults regardless of whether it is glaringly obvious, or goes unnoticed by others. He has also always been one to act upon desired changes, instead of simply pointing them out and waiting for it to be fixed by somebody else. There has never been an instance where he has backed away from a situation because of a difficulty or challenge. With very limited resources, Dennis has been able to hold fundraisers for charity, championed the welfare of assembly members through the meetings of past and present leaders, and mobilized all assembly members under one umbrella. Although sometimes things may seem impossible or a task may seem daunting, he has never strayed from or abandoned a cause without first trying to the best of his ability to rectify it. One of his most notable achievements as a courageous leader was when he single-handedly challenged the chiefs, and succeeded in securing a land for the Nkwanta M/A school. When it comes to the topic of being granted land in Ghana, the process can be strenuous and more often than not results in denial or dismissal. It was almost formidable to watch Dennis Agyei not only answer to why the land was necessary, but also question the chiefs in a manner that was respectful yet left no room for the topic at hand to be simply brushed off. By being able to secure the land for the school, it is important to note that this will not only be beneficial for the students of this generation but for future generations of students as well. Another prominent achievement of his was when he was the only member to openly challenge the result of a presiding member without the fear of any repercussions. Dennis is a man of fairness and justice, and is not afraid to stand his ground especially when he knows that others are quiet only because they are scared to voice out their own opinions. It is in these situations that he takes charge send acts a representative of said people; to give them a voice even without them having to utter a single word out loud. As long as Dennis knows that something needs to be done a certain manner, nothing stops him from making sure that it is done in said manner. It is for that sole reason that the list of his contributions to the community is might be a little too lengthy. To name a few, Dennis Agyei has helped in renovation of schools, building a library and a computer lab, providing mechanized water and electricity to every corner of the electoral area, building of a rice factory, building of drains, creating job opportunities, securing job placements for electorates and local citizens, and paying off hospital and school fees for those that are unable to do so. He is a natural born leader, who I know will bring honor and progress to whichever place he steps into now and in the future. 

Emmanuel Yeboah Amoah Dennis Obeng Agyei [email protected] +233243949790

P.o.box 309
AKIM Oda

Donation to charity
Payment of fees and hospital bills
Renovation of schools
Building library and computer lab
Providing of mechanized water and extending it to every Corner of the electoral area
Extention of electricity to every corner of the electoral area.
Building of rice factory
Securing jobs placement and opportunities for electorates and friends
Building of drains

Some of the reasons steps He sees as courageous is that, questioning the chiefs and challenging them and going against the directive by securing a land for the Nkwanta M/A school and also he is the only member to openly challenge results of a presiding member.

Also, He has been able to use his own resources to mobilize all assembly members under one unbrella and has met past and present head of states,kings and chief imam.
To champion the welfare of assembly members.

Twila Martin Kekahbah Starry Kruger [email protected] 917 848-4334 and 212-777-9137

Starry Kruger, President
Rural Development Leadership Network
P.O. Box98 Prince St. Station
New York, NY 10012
www.ruraldevelopment.org

As a member of the Board of Directors for the Rural Development Leadership Network (RDLN), I am proud to submit Starry Kruger, President of RDLN as a nominee for the Matusak Award. Information on Starry Kruger is attached in the box below. Twila Martin Kekahbah

Nuchelle Lee Chance Nuchelle Lee Chance [email protected] 9107740708

Missouri Western State University
Department of Psychology
4525 Downs Dr,
St Joseph, MO 64507

1) Dr. Chance is a social activist, educator, academic, scholar, mentor, social justice advocate, leader, and so on. One of the best ways of sharing experiences is by telling stories, so I want to share some of the stories of the things Dr. Chance has done in her time in Hays, KS. I have to start by describing the socio-politial culture of Hays, KS. Hays is a rural, agricultural city in northwest KS that hinges on Volga German roots. The population is heavily Catholic followed by Protestant. The 5 largest ethnic groups in Hays are White (87.9%), Hispanic (4.4%), Two or more races (4.06%), and Asian (1.51%). The county is over 70% Republican/Conservative and around 23% Democratic/Liberal. Needless to say, there is not a lot of diversity of people, character, thought, religion, ethnicity, or other demographics in this community. Regardless, Dr. Chance when coming to teach at Fort Hays State University refused to shy away or be intimidated by the “good ole boy” mentality and the “white nationalism” that plagued the community. In the wake of the death of George Floyd and many others, Dr. Chance was present and center stage organizing and leading protests in Summer 2020 in this small town although there was quite the adversity surrounding. She faced not only being verbally harassed and assaulted by the opposition but personal threats against her and her family’s wellbeing. Still, she persisted to stay vocal against the national and global issues of police brutality and human injustices. Just because it was not an issue that was happening in Hays, KS at that exact moment did not mean we as a people did not have the right to peacefully protest and stand or kneel in solidarity with our brothers and sisters globally.  

 

2) “A courageous leader is an individual who’s capable of making themselves better and stronger when the stakes are high and circumstances turn against that person. Most of our lives, we’re beset by crises. Courageous leaders are not cowed or intimidated. They realize that, in the midst of turbulence, there lies an extraordinary opportunity to grow and rise.” (Koehn, N.) 

Beyond the nationwide protests, Dr. Chance’s voice was a local force to be reckoned with even when her personal well-being was at risk. In October 2020 there was an incident that occurred on campus that was later identified as a hate crime. A student’s car had been defaced with a racial slur. Due to the climate and culture of the community and the “hush-hush” stance, the university board attempted to take there was not much publicity and the university president and communications officer attempted to brush it under the rug. Dr. Chance on the other hand was not going to let this incident just go on and not attempt to expose the ugly nature of the violator. Dr. Chance addressed the students, the public, and colleagues about how these kinds of acts perpetuated injustices and caused marginalized students to feel unsafe in these spaces. She further chastised the university administration for not supporting the students in the way they felt they should have been. The members of the Black Student Union then decided t0 push the narrative in a different direction and meet the hate with love. Taking note of any rising racial tensions, accompanied by a stressful election year and global pandemic, the BSU decided to get together and take care of one another the best we know how; by giving back to the community. It wasn’t much later when rumors started to circulate that Dr. Chance’s contract may not be renewed for the next academic year because she was “too vocal” and she made the board and administration uncomfortable. Unphased and unbothered, Dr. Chance continued to do her academic, scholarship, and service responsibilities to the university and community.  

  • Organize, facilitate, and lead local protests against police brutality and support basic human rights and justice in the face of extreme opposition. 
  • Develop student leaders and help prepare them for careers and advanced educations. 
  • Organize student groups to raise funds to support lower-income families for the holidays. 

3) One of the primary deliverables Dr. Chance has developed is the first-ever Black, Indigenous, and Person of Color (BIPOC) Community Group. This organization provides support, acceptance, belongingness, and a safe space for underrepresented people of all demographics, whether ethnic, religious, gender, orientation, SES/class, or ability differences. This group is also open to allies, advocates, and accomplices.

She has served on the local school board and consistently been vocal on issues that concern underrepresented populations. 

Dr. Chance has been working with colleagues on campus and local community leaders to increase leadership development opportunities for the URM and disenfranchised populations in her community. 

Working alongside and collaborating with other non-profits such as the United Way, Can You See Me, and the Schmidt Foundation in Ellis County, Dr. Chance has been able to authentically give back to the people of Hays and surrounding areas.

Can you see me? Panel on the challenges of mental illness (2/25/20) 

https://www.fhsu.edu/news/2020/02/fhsu-student-raising-awareness-about-breaking-down-mental-illness-stereotypes?fbclid=IwAR0XcGkA9Iah-gAspI3PqainUPV2TW9-G5GzyxuVJHWF1r9zYXxY3XfNt9k 

 

Graduate acquires more than a degree from FHSU (5/25/20)  https://hayspost.com/posts/5ec7dc82ebfb13423b25ef26 

 

Small and mid-sized towns in Kansas and Missouri are seeing mass protests like never before (6/22/20) https://thebeacon.media/stories/2020/06/22/how-black-lives-matter-protests-are-changing-the-conversation-in-small-towns-in-kansas-and-missouri/?fbclid=IwAR0XcGkA9Iah-gAspI3PqainUPV2TW9-G5GzyxuVJHWF1r9zYXxY3XfNt9k  

 

FHSU instructor selected as new Hays USD 489 board member (9/29/20) https://hayspost.com/posts/e9848fc7-6a3b-4b92-a6b7-00ed15f71acf?fbclid=IwAR1-RrV23BYX7xg6HiApIOk2Gr4A9AT7AAD2afI7wwfMupSDrrJtIrvu-wQ  

 

Community conversations focus of first BIPOC event Tuesday (10/26/20) https://hayspost.com/posts/019bc9fb-9020-462e-8bd9-42b71da60ec3?fbclid=IwAR3bnQMYhI9_b0teUsXIHTnv5FyizR_OcNRMakAfp0maFfXJ64oykg0LEyU 

 

Nominate a deserving family for free Thanksgiving dinner from FHSU BSU (11/17/20) https://hayspost.com/posts/033b32a5-99c3-46b5-a275-c2e349480bd0?fbclid=IwAR2C2ItIfbuQxfodXOKXJHjrv3bNHGlQ_w138pR2W91OQiqlW0bhHynWQjk 

 

Racist History Still Haunts Hays and Other Kansas Towns (3/2/21) https://kansaspublicradio.org/kpr-news/racist-history-still-haunts-hays 

Dr. Jan Cardwell Dr. Renee Green [email protected] 7638071850

University of Phoenix Hawaii Campus
949 Kamokila Blvd
Kapolei,HI 96707-20829

For some, everyday living requires acts of courage. Documentation attached

Erika Duncan Angeline Dean Angeline Dean 609-321-2880

Doctoral Candidate/Intersystemz

61 Stern Light Drive
Mount Laurel NJ 08054

Rarely have I met a person who challenges the whole meaning of courage to the core, forcing all of us who cross paths with her to experience with shattering/ deeply stimulating transparency, the moments when our own courage is failing, in order to come up in a better place. Angeline joined Herstory Writers/ Coalition for Community Writing’s national cohort of fellows in the fall of 2020, and since then none of our lives have been the same. She dove in with every bit of her intellect, fury and beauty, to a project with a 25-year track record of using personal memoir to challenge broken systems, changing hearts minds and policy.

Rarely have I met anyone so able to hunt out “lip service” to progressive values, to disrupt and topple, to not accept partial solutions or smooth answers, to feel every assault through to her bones and force those around her to feel until they have no choice but to act. Whether she is daring those in academia to accept the fact that they have her “back on the plantation” and that despite this she isn’t going away,  or forcing those in government not to turn away, those around her have no choice but to love her and listen to her, even when—especially when—she is throwing arrows that will not let sit still. She is teaching us to be tougher, and not to be over-protective of our own vulnerability,  even as she is teaching us a whole other way of defining community with none of the false easy solutions of  “togetherness”  and “we are all a family” that get so many do-gooders into trouble.  Her hatred of stagnation and balms is refreshing, infuriating in the best possible way,  and a real wake-up call for us all.

Her book Not Just A Slave was an answer to her fourteen-year-old cousins question as well as so many other children of color– “Am I just a slave?” Her book was submitted for the Coretta Scott King award in 2013. Yet, little did Ms. Dean comprehend that this book and an incident while teaching would be one of the tools that would transcend her thinking and navigate her journey as a catalyst for change.  In her quest for a metamorphic transformation, she recognized that power lies in shared enlightenment and in the shaping of mindsets; identity formation.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Science and a Master’s degree from the John S. Watson School of Public Policy at Thomas Edison where she studied Community/Economic Development in her bid to continue to be effective and innovative. Presently, Angeline is a Ph.D. candidate in a program addressing Access, Success, and Equity in Education with a social justice caveat. Her primary focus is the interconnectionality of systems and the predatory, intentional, innate nature of enslavement along with the political economy of Black/Brown bodies. Here, she built an Oppression/Plantation Paradigm© (OPP-Other People’s Property) to be used in centering her dissertation and future social justice work in education as well as in her systems work.

She has served as an activist, organizer, and liaison to the Faith based community in her quest to bring White House aid to the City of Trenton and a consultant for Faith in NJ/ People Improving Lives through Organizing (PICO) as the Statewide Transportation Coordinator. Her work was instrumental in changing 1.7 million lives in NJ. She was chosen by PICO to go to Ferguson, Missouri to assist the youth as well as clergy in self-advocacy and civic education during the Michael Brown case. Ms. Dean has ministered in the largest all male federal prison system for 12 years, sat on the Child Placement Review and Supervised Parent Visitation Boards for five years, and served as the Committeewoman of District 2 for two terms. She hosted her own radio show, has been a featured speaker in many venues to include the largest Christian TV program – Trinity Broadcasting Network.

Angeline has facilitated and presented on a myriad of conversation topics and was selected to discuss the bridging of communities for the Harwood Institute of Public Innovators. She was appointed to the Governor’s Human Relations Commission, and in 2015, named the NJ Assistant State Coordinator for the Whitehouse Initiative on Prayer in NJ. Her nonprofits van guard work in reentry afforded the nonprofit an opportunity to meet President Obama in Newark, NJ. Presently, Ms. Dean is an adjunct professor at both Hofstra and Rowan University, and facilitates the Institute for Community Justice’s anger management program in Philadelphia where she is privileged to go back in the prisons to speak. She also hosts town halls addressing systems as plantations and recently launched a new project at www.Intersystemz.rocks. Angeline serves as Board Chair of the Agrihood Project-an Urban agricultural project directly linked to the disrupting, dismantling, and educating of eco systems via a justice model, the “ghettoization” of cities through policies, and social justice movements.

With such a stellar list of achievements, I believe she is only at the beginning of a career of ever deepening disruptions, wherever they are needed.  It was with great pleasure that I worked with the director of Hofstra University’s Criminology Program to design a course in which first year criminology students will be writing side by side with returning prisoners, while experiencing a full emersion in “the Oppressive Plantation Paradigm that equates to Other People’s Property,” which defines her academic and activist work. She will be helping them use personal memoir as a tool to first experience and then expose the system, addressing internalized racism/white embodied supremacy, preparing them not to accept any part of the mass incarceration machine,  She will be preparing them for the risks they are certain to encounter, academic, personal, or political.

I am convinced that the world needs Angeline very badly and encourage you to consider her for this award.

 

Virginia Nonaca Chavez Cuong Quy Huynh cuon[email protected] 301 273-5866

Enlightened Initiative and Rende Progress Capital
14 Red Wing Court
Sterling, Virginia 20164

During this time of political uncertainty working with immigrant youth, DACA students and Excluded Entrepreneurs takes courage and leadership. Cuong Quy Huynh has dedicated his life assisting populations that many leaders would avoid. Cuong founded two nonprofit organizations Enlightened Initiative whose mission is to work with immigrant and low-income youth training them in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) plus servant leadership skills. Secondly, Rende Progress Capital (RPC) a non-profit Loan Fund, and an emerging Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) committed to economic equity by providing capital to Excluded Entrepreneurs. Cuong has demonstrated measurable leadership and advocacy for access to capital for the minority, women, and immigrant-owned businesses, especially during the global Covid-19 pandemic.

As a former refugee from Vietnam, Cuong has dedicated his life to training, empowering and supporting refugee and immigrant youth from low-wealth backgrounds across the nation. He has authored a book outlining this life and experience working with refugee and immigrant youth. “God’s crucible: We Who Dream of a Better life.” He is currently working on a second book “Leading Youth with a Servant’s Heart” to assist mentors and youth advisors working with young people. One of Cuong’s greatest successes is training young adults, especially refugee and DACA student to give them a voice.

Another success for Cuong is co-founding Rende Progress Capital (RPC). His organization has deployed 27 loans to the Excluded Entrepreneurs. RPC has created 13 new jobs and has retained close to 150 jobs for the Excluded Entrepreneurs to assist them and their families to get out of poverty and to build wealth in order to sustain inter-generational wealth creation.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been challenging for so many.  Hence, to deal with the pandemic, Rende Progress Capital (RPC) has innovatively created the Race4Progress Fund.  The RACE4Progress is a COVID-19 relief loan with features of a 1% rate, accommodating terms such as 90-day grace period before paying the principal and interest, five-year loan term, abridged application and review process along with progressive conditions such as being open to undocumented immigrant business owners. RPC has deployed over $375,000 to the Excluded Entrepreneurs, and RPC has provided innovative small business technical assistance services to the minority, women, and immigrant-owned business owners.

Cuong exemplifies a great quality as a mentor to young people by sharing his journey as a refugee into this country. He outlines his story to give hope to those who dream a better life in these United States.  When many people demonized minorities Cuong mentors them to see their full potential and pride in their own cultural origin. His two nonprofits trains, works with and mentors minority students and businesses. He helps them navigate through the challenges and obstacles getting out of poverty. Cuong practices the best of servant-leadership that the people he serves will “become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants.”

 

david introcaso Dr. Emily Senay and Dr. Jodi Sherman [email protected] and [email protected] Do not have

Mt. Sinai and Yale

Please accept this nomination of Dr. Emily Senay and Dr. Jodi Sherman for the Larraine R. Matusak Courageous Leadership Award for their work in addressing the climate crisis.

The Matusak award recognizes efforts that address “injustice,” improve the “common good” with a “profound sense of responsibility” despite being cast in “an unpopular light” and/or jeopardizing employment.  In light of the fact federal legislative and regulatory policymakers have failed to take substantive action to address the climate crisis, the fact the 9th Circuit in its 2020 Juliana decision ruled Americans do not have a constitutional right to a survivable climate and moreover the facts that the healthcare industry continues to ignore its own carbon emissions that kill approximately 100,000 Americans annually (and three times this number overseas) along with the fact a significant percentages of physicians refuse to discuss the climate crisis publicly because they believe it to be too controversial, too risky for them professionally and/or believe they would receive little peer support, regardless, Drs. Senay and Sherman pursue their work undeterred or with a profound sense of responsibility.

As you may be aware the climate crisis or anthropocentric global warming presents the greatest threat this century to human health – particularly to children’s health, the Kellogg Foundation’s target population.  Among innumerable related facts, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher today than it has been in 4.5 million years and is rising at a faster rate than at any other time over the past 66 million years in part because the planet is absorbing twice as much heat today as it did just 15 years ago.  To better understand the climate crisis and related health effects, see, for example, my recent related essays here, here, here, here, here and here or listen to any of my over 20 climate crisis-related podcast interviews at: www.thehealthcarepolicypodcast.com.

Dr. Emily Senay, she is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine and a practicing clinician both at the Selikoff Center for Occupational Health and at the World Trade Center Health Program Clinical Center of Excellence, all at Mount Sinai.  Her work in addressing climate crisis health effects includes: having served as Chair of Sustain Mount Sinai, the executive sustainability committee for the Mount Sinai Health System; she is the founder of Clinical Climate Change, an annual academic conference, now in its fourth year, that brings clinically useful climate and health information to physicians, nurses, and other front line health workers; as a member of the NY Medical Society she was the lead author of a paper presented to the state legislature on climate crisis-related health effects; as a member of the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health she routinely briefs Congressional offices on health harm caused by the climate crisis; and, Dr. Senay is currently collaborating in organizing a meeting with Biden administration official to identify and implement climate crisis-related health care regulatory reforms.

Dr. Senay’s related research concerns: healthcare delivery as a contributor to climate change through significant greenhouse gas emissions, waste, and pollution; the health co-benefits of climate mitigation and/or adaption regarding transportation systems and worker safety; the role of corporate social responsibility as a framework to organize large business entities to reduce emissions and improve social performance; and, the role of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in healthcare.  Current collaborations include: working with the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine to publish research on the roles and responsibilities for Occupational and Environmental physicians to respond to workforce challenges of changing climate; and, working with Yale scholars on developing and reporting hospital emission metrics and public disclosures emphasizing environmentally friendly purchasing and social impacts.  Her related research has appeared in numerous publications including Annals of Internal Medicine, Health Affairs, JAMA and The Lancet.

Dr. Jodi Sherman is Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at Yale School of Medicine and Associate Professor of Epidemiology in Environmental Health Sciences at the Yale School of Public Health.  She also serves as a member of Yale University’s Sustainability Steering Committee, as Medical Director of Sustainability for Yale New Haven Health and for seven years through 2017 she served as the Department of Anesthesiology’s Environmental Compliance Officer at the Yale School of Medicine.

Particularly noteworthy, Dr. Sherma is also the Founder and Director of the Program on Healthcare Environmental Sustainability at the Yale Center for Climate Change and Health.  The Yale Center is the only program of its kind being dedicated to reducing the health care industry’s significant contribution to total US carbon emissions.  The US healthcare industry emits 550 million metric tons of carbon annually, or 9% of total US carbon emissions.  Because nearly half of Americans breathe unhealthy air, because there has been a 54% increase in heat-related deaths over the past 20 years and because fossil fuel emissions account for 58% of excess US deaths annually, the Center appropriately defines carbon emissions as a both a patient safety and health equity issue.  The Center is therefore working to make the healthcare sector sustainable or in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Concerning her research efforts, Dr. Sherman is presently a contributing author to The Lancet’s highly regarded annual “Countdown on Health and Climate Change” report, works with several environmental and occupational health-related organizations including serving as Scientific Advisor for Healthcare Without Harm.  Her climate crisis-related research concerns life cycle assessment of environmental emissions and human health impacts of medical devices, drugs, clinical care pathways, and health systems.  Her research seeks to establish sustainability metrics, paired with health outcomes and costs, to help guide clinical decision-making, professional behaviors, and public policy toward more ecologically sustainable health care practices that improve the quality, safety and value of clinical care.  Her climate and health work has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation.  Her research has been published in, for example, the American Journal of Public Health, Health Affairs, International Anesthesiology Clinics, JAMA, Journal of Occupation and Environmental Medicine, The Lancet, Lancet Planetary Health, PLOS Medicine and PLOS One.

David Introcaso, Ph.D.

KNFP Class 13

[email protected] and 202.907.7426

Daniel C Gannon Elsbeth K. Paige-Jeffers [email protected] 207-899-8569

Concord, NH 03301

Over the course of the last year, I have grown to count on and appreciate Elsbeth’s tenacity as an emerging leader at our institution. She is a ferocious advocate for the creation of safe and visible spaces for native people, the BIPOC community, and members of the LGBT+ community. Elsbeth has challenged the status quo to share their stories and develop opportunities for professionally and educationally critical training series for our community. She is unafraid of speaking her mind and has actively called on leadership in our organization and the leaders of the New Hampshire and Maine communities to do better for all citizens and colleagues. Further, Elsbeth serves as a highly visible model and advocate for social good even when that may not be popular amongst certain groups. She not only talks the talk but walks the walk. Elsbeth does not need to do these things to be successful in her field, she has stepped out of the requirements of her role to regularly model what it means to lead as a global citizen, participating in training for her own development and in turn, facilitating these lessons for others. I think Elsbeth is highly deserving of your consideration for this award.

Oronde Cruger Elsbeth K. Paige-Jeffers [email protected] 207.899.8569

11 Green Street, Apartment 5
Concord, NH 03301

It is with great enthusiasm that I write to nominate Elsbeth Paige-Jeffers for the Matusak Courageous Leadership Award.  I have known Elsbeth for 13 years and can confidently say that every one of them saw her display growth, courage, and leadership in abundance.  An important part of leadership is investing in the well being of your team and allowing yourself to stay humble enough to adjust your style as needed.  From the rugby field to the admissions counseling to public service work with Indigenous populations, Elsbeth has demonstrated a keen ability to identify the needs of a group and work tirelessly to advocate for them.  

 

It is difficult to limit myself in my admiration for Elsbeth’s work but I will focus on her advocacy for the LGTBQ+ population as that has the longest throughline and the most manifestations of leadership.  From our time together in college, 13 years ago, Elsbeth has worked hard to ensure that LGBTQ+ folks felt represented and found community.  She laid the foundation for an intercollegiate network of queer students between Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby, one that lasted for years after her time at school, and worked within various groups on campus to provide peer-led counseling for students struggling with their sexuality.  In addition to her advocacy on campus, she also focused much of her academic work on sexuality and queerness to have a better understanding of the historical and systemic factors at play that contribute to the marginalization and the othering of the LGBTQ+ population.  

 

This work led her to realizing that sexual assault/harassment within queer communities is staggering and she pivoted to include sex education, specifically consent education, into her efforts.  That pivot led her to become a founding board member for a nonprofit called Speak About It (www.wespeakaboutit.org).  Today, Speak About It has worked with hundreds of thousands of students both nationally and internationally and has developed inclusive, nonjudgmental educational content for parents/caregivers, service industry professionals, children as young as 12 and adults as old as 70.  

 

Within both Speak About It and the Bowdoin College community, I marvelled at how Elsbeth used her intellect and interpersonal skills bravely to give voice to those that are often silenced.  If there is a hard conversation to be had, Elsbeth does not shy away but, rather, brings a cool and composed perspective and invites dialogue for all parties to be heard while steadily maintaining her goals.  I know that most folks would take this time to highlight how the applicant valiantly fought for a cause but, instead, I would like to expand on Elsbeth’s ability to be effective across settings.  To me, courage is about taking a step outside of one’s comfort zone and can oftentimes result in vulnerability.  I have seen Elsbeth grow as a leader and communicator in her ability to still her ego to allow for new approaches to a conversation or problem.  Her leadership does not look like blindly bulldozing to an end goal but, rather, assessing whether or not her natural instincts are a good fit for the situation and either fostering the necessary skills or finding a way to collaborate with somebody that embodies those skills.  To lead with one’s heart and not one’s ego or tradition is an incredibly important quality and one that I appreciate within Elsbeth.

 

I know that there are going to be some phenomenally qualified and deserving folks that apply for this award (and I wish them well) but I hope that you take the time to chat with Elsbeth Paige-Jeffers if you never have.  You will find a passionate, brilliant, and powerful advocate who has chosen service to her community at every turn.  Living and leading with one’s heart is a scary process because hearts can be fragile and a truly courageous leader will risk a couple of scrapes on theirs to protect those who are less able to protect their own.  Thank you for your time.

 

Sincerely, 

 

Oronde Cruger

Alicia Costa DeVito Hadassah E. Weiner Friedman [email protected] 3052188533

Miami Dade County Public Schools, John F. Kennedy Middle School (Science Educator)
Home address: 1387 NE 181 Street, North Miami Beach, FL 33162

Please see uploaded file below.

Michael E Dixon Gregory K. Addison [email protected] 260 444-7079

2926 Simcoe Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46815

I highly recommend Greg Addison for the Matusak Courageous Leadership Award.  He is a leader amongst his peers who does not hesitate to speak up and take action.  I serve as Command Chief for the 122nd FW.  Greg served as one of my First Sergeants until recently being promoted within the Logistics Readiness Squadron.  He was the first to volunteer for the States COVID response and served with distinction and trust in that role.  Greg intervened on several occasions for the health and welfare of the Airmen he served with.

Greg will stand up and take the time to understand a situation and not give up on the person.  He did this with an individual who was presenting mental health concerns.  Others responding were taking a wait and see approach.  Greg felt that there should be an evaluation by a health professional.  He saw the situation thru and maintains regular contact with them.  He relied on his Law Enforcement experience and his gut to make the call.

The first time I observed Greg as a mentor was at a girls High School Basketball game he was coaching.   At the time I did not know him or his affiliation to our unit.  I observed a motivating coach who kept his team engaged even though they were outmatched on the scoreboard.  His girls were excited to get on the court and it was easy to see that he connected with and led them.  I was truly impressed and pleased to then get to know him on a professional level.  Greg was an integral part of leading his Airmen thru the past 18 months as COVID and other outside factors could have caused a negative effect on them.  He enabled them to focus on the mission at hand and saw to their needs.

Greg’s leadership style is built on experience.  Education plus Law Enforcement, Military and coaching provide the foundation of his experience.  His character and willingness to take measured risk are why I trust and recommend him for this opportunity.

Elizabeth Suda Sera Koulabdara [email protected] 614-753-3725

Legacies of War

  1. Sera Koulabdara has been involved with Legacies of War, the only international educational and advocacy organization working to address the impact of conflict in Laos during the Vietnam War-era, including removal of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and victim assistance, in various roles over many years. In her first year as Executive Director and in the midst of a pandemic that forced the organization to close its office and the staff to work from all over the country, Sera not only oversaw an increase in US funding for UXO clearance in Laos to a historic $40 million in 2021, but also creatively adapted the organization’s programming to a virtual event space, helping to maintain community engagement with supporters, staff, and interns amid a year of separation, and consequently expanding Legacies of War’s reach in the process. In addition to this, Sera also represents Legacies of War as a Steering Committee member for the award-winning US Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munition Coalition. Her ultimate vision is to expand Legacies’ impact by ensuring that the Laotian American story is properly recognized by the United States, and to continue to push the U.S. to take responsibility for clearing the bombs that it dropped and address the lingering impacts of war.
  2. The Secret War in Laos is a part of history many people in the United States government would rather forget. But with more bombs dropped on Laos than on Germany and Japan combined for the entire duration of World War II (a fact that forced over 700,000 Laotians to flee and settle in the US, the largest refugee resettlement in US history), and with 80 million unexploded bombs still lurking beneath the surface in Laos, Sera is determined not to let this history be erased. Through numerous meticulously designed and expertly executed awareness campaigns, Sera has dedicated herself to informing the American people of the reality of the calamitous US intervention in Southeast Asia, in order to achieve justice for those affected and assurance that this history will not repeat itself. After successfully advocating for an increase to $45 million for the UXO sector in Laos for 2022, Sera most recently aided in the writing of the Legacies of War Recognition and Unexploded Ordnance Removal Act, first introduced by Senator Baldwin in Fall 2020. If passed, this historic bill would be the first to recognize the people of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam who fought alongside American troops during the Vietnam War and authorize funding of $100 million a year for 5 years divided among the 3 countries of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, a monumental achievement considered unthinkable just a few short years ago.
  3. In addition to Legacies of War’s world-class, paid internship program that is focused on cultivating the next generation of leaders by providing hands-on, meaningful experience, Sera, in her capacity as Executive Director, serves as an advisor and mentor to a number of like-minded organizations, such as War Legacies Project and LaoSD (Lao Advocacy Organization of San Diego), helping them to effectively advocate for their own causes with the greater good in mind. Sera also has on-going dialogues with members of Congress as well as top level Lao government officials and has been key to influencing greater comprehensive partnership between the two countries.
Aoife Mairead Kennedy Elsbeth K. Paige-Jeffers [email protected] 2078998569

Address: 11 Green Street, Apartment 5 – Concord, NH 03301

 

  • Provide a synopsis of the nominee’s courageous leadership contributions that exhibit his/her ability as an effective agent of change in promoting the common good in difficult times and situations.

Elsbeth Paige-Jeffers is a remarkable human with a penchant for leadership and advocacy that far exceeds any individual I have ever encountered. She does not assume roles or actions, and she is not impulsive. She has thoughtful, direct conversations with others and engages deeply in a solutions-focused manner, to ensure the best course of action for achieving goals. Elsbeth leads by example, and she does not leave anyone behind. With Elsbeth as a leader, you feel seen, heard, and empowered.

 

Her fearlessness, passion, and dedication are evident through her relentless pursuit of positive change. She supports the Queer and Indigenous communities, fighting to hold space for their pain and provide space for their stories. Our world today is filled with contention over differences of opinion, but this is not a roadblock for Elsbeth. She crosses the divide and builds a bridge of understanding. Difficulty and roadblocks only propel her forward at a higher velocity.

 

  • What is/are the nominee’s most notable achievements as a courageous leader and/or follower?

One of Elsbeth’s most notable achievements is when she provided feedback to the Department of Justice via Congress and The Office for Violence Against Women, around their problematic expectations of indigenous grantees. It is no secret that indigenous communities are the “Lost Children” of our cultural milieu, keeping themselves small and quiet so as not to incur further abuse from the current dominant culture. Unable to sit by and watch this unfold, Elsbeth has brought her leadership and advocacy skills to the fore.

More notable achievements are the following:

  • her work with gifted students around leadership, diversity, and inclusion,
  • her personal coaching background where she encouraged a better, healthier organization through the enhancement of good humans within the organization,
  • her many speaking engagements around Title IX and support for Queer and Indigenous communities.

 

  • How has this nominee served as a mentor, role model, or made any other significant contributions to community action and/or the field of practice of leadership?

 

Elsbeth is an unquestionable emotional steward in the face of diversity and inclusion in our local community. She is well-known for her intelligence, mentorship, discipline, and fierce advocacy. She is as culturally competent as she is self-aware, and the depth of her self-awareness is immeasurable due to the sheer momentum by which this human enacts change within herself. This marked ability to enact change within the bounds of her own consciousness only furthers the notion that she is capable of remarkable change and leadership on a community level.

At Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), and as a member of the Steering Committee, Elsbeth has been able to create a safe space for colleagues in the Queer community. For Pride month, she oversaw the efforts of creating a virtual Pride Wall for SNHU employees to comment with messages of support. Additionally, this provided space for individuals to post their own stories and achievements on the wall – giving a voice to those that seldom has the chance to speak and truly be heard.

The only way one can truly describe Elsbeth and her gifts are through comparison to the bright flares of colorful x-rays that have recently been discovered to escape from behind a black hole – nothing is out of reach, nothing can hold her back, and nothing can keep her from addressing the dark matter of this world.

Mailande Becker Holland Natalya Bannister Roby [email protected] 321-695-7378

Pace Center for Girls, Inc. Alachua
1010 SE 4th Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32606

Natalya Bannister Roby, Executive Director of Pace Center for Girls, Alachua is the definition of a courageous leader; one of those rare individuals who truly is “born to lead”.  In my work with her at Pace and in the broader community, I have watched and marveled as she leads organizational and community wide change with courage, conviction, authenticity, passion, and love.

As a young, brown, woman, Natalya’s has experienced many “isms” – racism, sexism, ageism and colorism – in her life and professional career.  Rather than wallow in self-pity, she has used these experiences to grow as a leader and become a change agent, mentor and role model.

Two stories come to mind.

Natalya’s career in non-profit leadership began at a well know agency where she rose to Vice President and received numerous national awards for the visionary programming she created to serve at risk youth in public housing neighborhoods in Alachua County.  Her CEO was so impressed by her leadership, when he moved to lead another agency, he recommended to the board that she succeed him.  The response from some of the board members was shocking. She was told that she was too young, too ethnic, that as a woman of color she would not be a successful fundraiser, that she would not receive compensation in the executive salary range if they did offer her the job- the insults were traumatic and a reminder to Natalya that her achievements could not protect her from implicit bias. Natalya turned that hard lesson into a learning opportunity.  When she was subsequently hired to become the Executive Director of Pace Center for Girls, Alachua, she experienced similar challenges, however, she was prepared to navigate them because of her experience at the agency. She understood that the biases of others were a reflection of their own fears and that the best way to win people over was to focus on the mission, the girls we serve at Pace, and delivering outstanding results.  She has done exactly that, winning over reluctant board and community members who doubted her ability to lead with excellence.  The proof is in the success of the girls we serve at Pace, the willingness of the community to support us financially, and the stability and growth we have experienced under her visionary leadership.

Natalya is in the process of earning her doctorate in nonprofit leadership at one of Florida’s flagship universities when she experienced racism at the hands of one of her professors. Rather than remain quiet, she chose to stand up and challenge the professor, a well-respected and long-time member of the faculty. She knew if she remained silent, the racism would go unchecked and impact more students of color as they sought to complete their graduate degrees. The process was traumatic, difficult, and exhausting, but Natalya was determined to fight, not just for herself and her black and brown classmates, but for those who would come after her so that they would not have to experience the same racial trauma. She has since spoken at the Leadership Institute of that university on topics such as “Habits of the Heart” and “Six Points of Resiliency,” and is a mentor to other students there. She also was invited to share her thoughts regarding the alignment of personal and organizational goals and values with a cohort of upcoming leaders at that same institution.

Natalya has emerged as the leading champion and expert in our community on racial equity, diversity and inclusion. Organizations, including UF, The Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, and The Community Foundation of North Central Florida have turned to her to lead difficult discussions around race.  By sharing her stories, she encourages others to do the same, promoting healing, understanding across demographics and compassion in our community. Natalya is not content to stay on the surface of difficult discussions.  She challenges her colleagues to dig deep and examine their implicit biases, prejudices, racial trauma, and other painful subjects to move the conversation and community forward.

Natalya’s most notable achievements include:

TedxUF: Natalya spoke about her philosophy of leadership, “The Power of Leading with Love,” during her Tedx talk. See her talk at https:////youtu.be/HNGCREabzHo

UF Counseling and Wellness Center: Natalya helped to educate mental health counselors around the globe on creating a pathway to healing by empathizing with the lived experiences of victims.

Community Foundation of North Central Florida: Natalya is a member of and a mentor for the Equity Task Force.  In addition to leading discussions around racial trauma and equity and inclusion in our community, Natalya is leading the effort to design strategies for more equitable hiring practices in local service organizations.

Pace Center for Girls, Inc. National Office Social Justice and Equity Task Force: In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Natalya has led Pace, Inc. conversations about race, designing and facilitating culture circles and leading conversations to help transform the culture of Pace.

UNF Leads: Natalya serves as a mentor to emerging leaders in graduate programs at UNF.

Gainesville Black Professionals Leadership Conference and Expo: As the keynote speaker, Natalya spoke about “Authentic Leadership” at their inaugural conference.

UF Bob Graham Center for Public Service: Natalya was a panelist discussing authentic leadership with a group of university students who were emerging leaders.

UF Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women Studies: Speaker

UNF Taylor Leadership Institute: Natalya serves as a speaker and mentor.

Pace Center for Girls, Alachua: As ED, Natalya serves as a role model, mentor and inspiration to the girls we serve as well as the staff.  Her passion for the mission drives her dedication to excellence and has positioned our center as one of the most successful in the state.  Under her leadership, we have doubled the number of girls we serve, instituted a graduation and scholarship program, completed a successful capital campaign and expanded our campus, and increased the metrics of success that our girls achieve.

It is my privilege to nominate Natalya Bannister Roby for the Matusak Courageous Leadership Award.

Rebecca Katz ELSBETH K. PAIGE-JEFFERS [email protected] +1 (207) 899-8569

Learning Architect at Southern New Hampshire University. Lives in 11 Green Street, Apartment 5
Concord, NH 03301.

Elsbeth has continually shown incredible contributions that showcase her leadership in many ways, and as an effective agent of change. The past year has been difficult for many, but also has created space for leaders to educate and foster change. Elsbeth has more than risen to the occasion, though she has been doing this for many years. Her passion in fighting for women’s rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, and Indigenous rights shows in all aspects of her life. Some of her speaking engagements in the past have included panels on Queer Identity and Intersectionality, Indigenous Survival, and Honoring Native American Veterans. 

       I met Elsbeth at the powerlifting gym to which we both train at where she is also a coach. From the very beginning, she exemplified a leader. From ensuring the gym was a safe space for women to train, to building up confidence in those around her, she carries a quiet courage that enables those around her to feel empowered. But this isn’t just in training. She has publications such as Share the Platform: Trans Athletes in Strength Sports, Food and Relationship, the Dark Side of Discipline, and Be a Pirate: Occupying Your Space in the Weightroom that support her expertise and leadership. One of her most notable accomplishments, which is saying something considering her long laundry list of achievements, is her ability to ‘back one up’. Elsbeth has an uncanny ability to make anyone feel her support and that in the face of pushback or maltreatment, she will not back down. It is a difficult thing to hold your ground and occupy space in a world where it is a male-dominated sport, or even just thought of as typically male. Not only does she make sure she continues to educate herself on the different types of work to be done, but she actually does it, and pushes through change. From classes such as Ethical Leadership, Resolving Conflict, and expanding her education on anti-racism from webinars such as the Black New England Conference and the Radical Diversity Conference, Elsbeth goes above and beyond for all to feel comfortable and like their voice is not only heard, but they have ground to stand on. 

       In the times we live in, it is obvious that systemic changes are needed. Not just from sweeping policy, however, but by active behavior changes and education every day. Elsbeth exemplifies this idea. In her current work, she reaches across departments to coordinate change and implement best practices. Using her aforementioned ongoing education and knowledge of intersectionality and her own life experiences, she creates an environment that improves upon itself every day. And this is echoed in her previous work and academic career. She goes above and beyond to better the departments for the sake of betterment. For example, she conducted extensive research on her personal time for best practices when she was an adjunct professor. As a nutrition coach at Arkitect Fitness, she works with each individual to ensure that their relationship with food not only is conducive to their health but also remains healthy. 

       In short, Elsbeth has continually shown herself to be an incredible leader that fosters change and courage in others by her own actions of education, standing up for others, and research. I highly recommend her for this award of which she is most deserving.

Helena Iaquinta Elsbeth K. Paige-Jeffers [email protected] Office Phone: 888.387.0861

11 Green Street, Apartment 5
Concord, NH 03301

  1. I have had the privilege of knowing Elsbeth for several years. Each interaction is an opportunity to stretch as a human and grow in my knowledge of equity work. They are a force to be reckoned with, a person who is steadfast in their advocacy, and consistently shares alternate narratives for marginalized populations when those who hold those identities are not present or may not feel safe enough to speak up. Elsbeth can confidently and effortlessly verbally spar with the best of them and I have often heard people say “they have an eloquent way of schooling people”. No matter what hierarchical level a person might be at within our organization, Elsbeth will make sure they are considering the impact and/or harm caused when not taking the lived experiences of others into consideration.
  2. I have seen Elsbeth take the reins as a steering committee member for the Pride in the Workplace Affinity Group, run events as an active core member for the Diversity Council, become a staff mentor, offer their lived experiences as a learning opportunity in weekly group conversation rooms, and send weekly emails sharing knowledge and education for their team to upskill in diversity, equity, and inclusion work.
  3. Through the roles and responsibilities mentioned above, Elsbeth has demonstrated leadership through their ability to collaborate with others, to delegate tasks, to raise differing perspectives, to be empathetic of others, and to make space for all voices. I have seen others look up to Elsbeth for their confidence and quick wit. I know that they have role modeled to our organization how to incorporate a land acknowledgment which has been something that was put on the back burner for far too long. Elsbeth is unapologetic in who they are and how they carry themselves. I know I am a better leader from working so closely with them and appreciate their feedback, input, and inspiration.
Emily Gagnon Elsbeth K. Paige-Jeffers [email protected] 2078998569

11 Green Street, Apartment 5
Concord NH 03301

Dear Evaluation Committee,

It is with great pleasure that I nominate Elsbeth Paige-Jeffers for consideration for the 2021 Matusak Courageous Leadership Award. In addition to performing her job at an exemplary level, Elsbeth demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to her university as well as to her community.

Elsbeth takes it upon herself to lead from her seat and contribute to many councils of leadership. She is a member of the diversity council at SNHU, as well as serves as a part of the steering committee for Pride in the Workplace. She takes it upon herself to exhibit grit in the face of adversity as well as to serve as a change agent for those who are unable to do so for themselves. She has created a “Did You Know” bi-weekly article in which she shares topics around social change and how to be courageous as an agent of change for individuals.

Elsbeth speaks in many public arenas such as Indigenous Survival Panelist, Queer Identity and Intersectionality, Leading a Life, Leading at Work, Society for Information Management and has been able to partake in additional ongoing education that allows her to show up daily as a courageous leader.

Elsbeth has served as a mentor and role model for Diversity and Leadership among the SNHU community as well as in her local community. She is always open for conversation and is able to communicate in a way that allows others to learn from her and help her learn at the same time. Elsbeth is always willing to pitch in for the good of the community regardless of the mission.

Through many changes in leadership, Elsbeth has made a difference at the university and her community, exemplified courageous leadership and has positively impacted the people around her and around the globe. Her skills, knowledge, willingness to help others and dedication to openness and diversity in the community make her a great nominee for this award.

Sincerely,

Emily Gagnon

Joyce Taylor Gibson, Associate Professor Leadership Studies Seth Roth Diemond [email protected] 207-249-4524

School for International Training, Brattleboro, Vermont (current employer)
Home address of nominee: 252 West Street, Amherst, MA 01002

I have uploaded a document for this nomination.  Joyce T. Gibson

Luis Roberto Somaza Castellano Luis Roberto Somaza Castellano [email protected] +584142325523

Presidency (E) of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

The repression of Nicolás Maduro’s regime in the face of the peaceful protests of the Venezuelan people has been excessive.

The Venezuelan NGO “Justicia Encuentro y Perdon” counts 330 fatalities due to a systematic pattern of extrajudicial executions in the context of demonstrations from 2014 to 2021.

The deputies of the legitimate National Assembly elected in 2015 have been persecuted, besieged and harassed in the full exercise of their functions, violating their parliamentary immunity and the will of the people who elected them.

There are no independent institutions, there are no electoral conditions that generate confidence to promote participation. Reason why, the Venezuelan people, the Venezuelan democratic opposition, and more than 60 countries ignored and have not recognize the 2018 presidential election, declaring Maduro usurper of the office of the presidency.

Systematic persecution of the democratic opposition and human rights defenders.

The UN’s Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela, reported in September 2020 that, the objective of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) was to identify “political dissidents and human rights activists, as well as other men and women perceived themselves as against the government”

Francisco Cox, a member of the Mission, explained that the arbitrary detentions, disappearances and tortures against the civilian population were part of a strategy to silence the opposition.

According to the Venezuelan NGO Foro Penal, there have been 15,734 political detentions in Venezuela since 2014, by July 26, 2021 the balance of Political Prisoners of this organization, counted 275 people detained.

This political context is aggravated by the complex humanitarian emergency in the country, to July 2021, 5.649.714 Venezuelans have fled Venezuela, causing the largest exodus of migrants in the region.

In this scenario, hundreds of Venezuelans work with courage to: denounce human rights violations, seek justice, and help the most vulnerable to live with dignity and recover democracy. But most are victims of persecution, put in danger their freedom, physical integrity and even their lives.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, at the 46th session of the Human Rights Council, March 2021, stated “Since September, my Office has documented at least 66 cases of intimidation, harassment, disqualification and criminalization of journalists, media outlets, human rights defenders, humanitarian workers, labor leaders, and opposition members or supporters, including elected members of the 2015 National Assembly and their family members”

 

NOMINEE: LUIS SOMAZA

 

In view of the disavowal of the 2018 elections and following the mandate of the National Constitution, the President of the legitimate National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, assumed the position of President in Charge of Venezuela in January 2019, and was recognized by more than 50 countries of the international community.

Since August 2019, Luis Somaza Castellanos, a 36-year-old Venezuelan politician and economist who has shown courage and commitment to the struggle for democracy and freedom in his country, has held the position of Head of the Office of the President-in-Charge of Venezuela.

From 2008 until 2011, he served in different positions in the Office of the Mayor of Baruta with Mayor Gerardo Blyde.

From 2011 until 2018, he was Municipal Coordinator of the political party Voluntad Popular, he was elected through open elections, being the third most voted candidate nationwide. This process, unprecedented in Venezuelan political history, allowed the grassroots to elect the party’s authorities.

In 2013, he was elected councilman of Baruta in the municipal elections of mayors and councilmen, a position he held until 2017. During this period he chaired the Social Development and Community Welfare Commission, responsibility in which he directed, undertook and developed projects and programs for the welfare of the entire community of Baruta.

In 2015, he joined the hunger strike started from prison by opposition leader and national coordinator of Voluntad Popular, Leopoldo López, to demand: the setting of a date for parliamentary elections, the release of political prisoners and the cessation of repression and torture. The hunger strike was lifted after achieving the electoral calendar that the leaders were demanding.

In 2017, he accompanied and led the massive peaceful protests of the Venezuelan people against the dictatorship, was shot with pellets during the demonstrations and helped the victims of the regime’s repression.

In 2019 he held the position of Director of Citizen Attention of the National Assembly, where he carried out different projects for the administrative officials of the Legislative Branch. Likewise, he worked in the Directorate of Tours of the Presidency-in-Charge, being the national responsible for the activities and events of President (E) Juan Guaidó.

In August 2019, he assumed the position of Chief of Office of the Presidency in Charge, where he is responsible for directing all the operations of the Interim Government.

Parallel to his political work, he has carried out work of great social and community impact. Since 2009, when he started the non-profit foundation Jóvenes con la Comunidad, he has served as Secretary General of this organization, which is made up of a group of young people who believe in the need to promote citizen participation and community engagement as processes that ensure lasting social growth.

Because of his leadership and the roles and responsibilities he has assumed in the last 13 years in the democratic struggle of the opposition, he has been a victim of defamation, persecution and threats by the dictatorship.

In April 2020 his personal assistant was kidnapped, his family residence and that of his parents was besieged for days by state security forces.

In July 2021 she suffered an attempt on her life together with President (E) Juan Guaidó, later, spokespersons of the dictatorship would declare that the intention was to arrest Somaza.

However, none of these actions have weakened his commitment and despite the threats, Luis Somaza continues to fight for Venezuela’s freedom.

Lindsey Pamlanye Lindsey Pamlanye [email protected] +353 83 362 7686

United States:
186 Holiday Blvd
Center Moriches, NY
11779

Ireland:
Old Kilmainham Village
Block C Apartment 60
Kilmainham
Dublin 8
Ireland

The Alliance of Leadership Fellows’ vision of “equitable, sustainable human flourishing” strongly resonates with my own experiences, especially in education. There is a marked difference between existing and flourishing. But what if existing is all you’ve ever known, how can you imagine anything different? Self-advocacy is incredibly challenging if you don’t know what you deserve. A key feature of my leadership journey has been bridging this gap for myself and others. I understand firsthand how empowering it is to build knowledge about rights and the impacts of institutionalized injustice.

The Americans with Disabilities Act passed in 1990. I was born with Hydrocephalus in 1993 and, in many ways, I have both benefitted from and grown up alongside the civil rights movement for Disabled people. Eugenics, forced institutionalization, and other forms of legalized discrimination against Disabled people were the true normal over the course of human history. This institutionalized oppression and exclusion of Disabled people has created a society that undervalues, underestimates, and discredits the Disabled experience – especially in leadership positions. Lacking decision-making power perpetuates the cycle of inequality, and my goal is to be an agent of change that promotes equality.

The education system is uniquely positioned to dismantle inequalities and promote justice for the common good. I believe working within this environment is a key entry point to sustainable change. My leadership contributions in education, especially for oppressed groups, began with my own experiences as a student. Several brain surgeries and various hospitalizations interrupted my academics, but I always felt capable of participating. My ability to succeed as a student was constantly in doubt due to my illness. Rather than being encouraged to fulfill my potential, teachers, counsellors, and administrators constantly asked, “are you sure you can handle that?” My nondisabled peers were never questioned. It was difficult to combat these low expectations and I experienced serious self-doubt. If all these people I trusted and I was supposed to learn from didn’t think I was capable, maybe I wasn’t.

At times I seriously struggled but I continued to pursue courses that were academically challenging, and ultimately decided to pursue education at college level. A key motivation was to become the teacher I needed as a student – emulate teachers who were supportive positive, and reassuring, but never forgetting what it was like to have other teachers that made their low expectations clear. Outside of the classroom, I took steps to educate and empower myself and others through community action and joined a long-term service program (Lasallian Volunteers) that focused on accessible education for marginalized and oppressed student groups.

For two years, I collaborated with other volunteers and key community members to create networks, teams, and interpersonal skillsets that would build environments centered on equality. This included building international relationships to share best practices. I came to realize that injustice is a global phenomenon. It needs a global solution.

Growing up, I was most often told what I couldn’t do because of my Hydrocephalus. I was rarely asked what accommodations were necessary to ensure I was fully engaged, Hydrocephalus included. Travel was always considered an impossibility. However, the more I collaborated with international partners through various conferences, the more invested I was in experiencing the world first-hand. International collaboration is invaluable, and I felt I wasn’t participating to my fullest extent without leaving my comfort zone.

International education opportunities are designed and promoted as critical for the education process and are particularly valuable for socially disadvantaged groups. Various institutional obstacles –such as the ableism I experienced throughout my life- can make these essential opportunities inaccessible to those who would most benefit from participation. I never imagined going abroad during my undergraduate career, and only considered domestic volunteer programs postgrad. But as my self-awareness improved and I tested my independence more and more, I knew that going abroad wasn’t just a nice dream but a necessary next step.

I actively combatted the low expectations and society-imposed limitations by pursuing my Masters in Equality Studies in Ireland. Throughout my studies I focused on how to promote equality in education and worked to raise awareness about institutionalized obstacles to education especially for Disabled people. I have participated in numerous conferences and awareness raising events to dismantle myths and misconceptions surrounding Disability, including leading trainings in my own office, speaking to staff and students at the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability conference, NICE Conference, and the Keith Sherin Global Leaders Virtual Program for first generation students. I believe that there is incredible power in representation, and that pursuing leadership positions as a Disabled person not only combats harmful myths, misconceptions, and stereotypes, but also provides Disabled people with an alternative reality that emphasizes capability rather than inability. I strive to make it clear that Disability is not a negative, but, rather, a valuable perspective and identity.

Most recently, I was accepted on the first ever Disability Participation and Consultation Network facilitated by the Irish government and have recently begun a project-based externship with Mobility International USA. In both positions I advocate for sustainable change on behalf of Disabled people and contribute to mentorship programming for Disabled youth. Building a community of people who have experienced injustice and are working to dismantle obstacles to equality has been incredibly empowering, and I hope to continue contributing in this area. I believe that learning more about equality, historical injustice, and advocacy has contributed greatly to my day to day life and I hope to continuing sharing this experience with others.

 

Margrit von Braun and Brenda Smith Shirley Sherrod [email protected] [email protected] 229-432-1338

3143 Cane Mill Dr
Albany GA 31721

1) Provide a synopsis of the nominee’s courageous leadership contributions that exhibit his/her ability as an effective agent of change in promoting the common good in difficult times and situations.

Shirley Sherrod’s life has been marked by epic struggles for justice; violence targeted at her and her family; and by the deployment of litigation and attacks on her values and reputation.  Throughout, each of these struggles that would have deterred or stopped most, Shirley has persevered, overcome and transcended – responding with unfathomable persistence and grace that teaches and holds the actors and malefactors accountable.

 

KFLA Group 13 was honored to hear about many of Shirley’s experiences first-hand.  And we learned from them while at the same time, being so proud and honored to be a small part of Shirley’s leadership journey.  Shirley was instrumental in challenging black farmers’ exclusion from federal relief programs and racial discrimination in agriculture that steadily depleted the number of black farms from nearly 1 million in 1920 to fewer than 50,000 today. This journey has lasted for over 50 years and resulted in the landmark Pigford class action which sought to provide reparations to Black farmers for decades of discriminatory treatment.

 

Shirley’s passion to combat racism started early – when she was 17 years old, her father, a local Baptist deacon, was murdered by a white neighbor over a livestock dispute.  No charges were ever filed but her commitment to making change and seeding justice was born. That same year, Shirley was among the first black students to enroll in the previously all-white high school in Baker County.  In the 1960’s she began organizing black voters in her community through the Southwest Georgia Project, co-founded with her husband, Charles, a pivotal leader in the Albany Movement, focused on desegregation and voting rights for black citizens. In 1969, Shirley, Charles and other civil rights leaders purchased nearly 6000 acres of land near Albany, GA; making their New Communities Trust farm the largest African American-owned farm in the U.S.  Some white farmers and segregationist Governor Lester Maddox opposed the creating of the farm and prevented development funds for the project from entering Georgia. Yet Shirley and Charles persisted.  Later, the USDA denied New Communities the same loans it gave to white farmers following a drought and the trust was forced off its land. Shirley continued to help black farmers gain access to resources and funds through the Southwest Georgia Project and as a director of rural development for the USDA. After a massive class-action lawsuit over the agency’s racist practices, a 2009 settlement provided resources to rebuild New Communities.  New Communities, the first Community Land Trust in the U.S., was designed to provide an equitable, sustainable model of affordable housing and community development while providing African American farmers the opportunity to cultivate land securely and affordably. In 2011, the organization bought a 1,600-acre property in Albany, renamed Resora, the former plantation of the largest slaveholder in the state. The property includes a working farm with collective ownership and an agricultural research lab – these resources are still key to reversing land loss for black farmers. Shirley’s persistence, ingenuity, passion and commitment have improved the lives of black and disadvantaged farmers in Georgia and beyond.  Additionally, her strategic vision and brilliant political and strategic vision have changed the course of lives in Georgia and beyond.

 

2) What is/are the nominee’s most notable achievements as a courageous leader and/or follower?

 

Shirley served on the board of the Rural Development Leadership Network until she resigned to  accept a position with the USDA in 2009, as the Georgia State Director of Rural Development. She was the first black person to hold that position. Breitbart News used an edited video of remarks that suggested she was prejudiced against White farmers. She was forced to resign by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.  Two days later the full video was reviewed, and both Secretary Vilsack and President Obama called her to apologize and offered her another job in the department, which she ultimately declined. Instead, Sherrod returned to her work with New Communities, helping farmers with what she had learned in her brief time at the agency.  She sued Breitbart for  defamation, false light, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. In 2015, the suit was settled out of court on confidential terms.

 

When President Biden introduced Tom Vilsack as his USDA pick, Shirley’s ability to look forward, not backwards, again came to light.  She said, “I have no ill will towards him, none at all…When I say, ‘I forgive you,’ I mean it. I can’t dwell on that because there are things we need to accomplish.”  She articulated his role as an opportunity for partnership for USDA to correct its legacy of systemic racism.  In that way, Shirley modelled servant leadership.  Rather than focus on her legitimate grievances, she looked beyond to her larger goal and purpose and laid down a marker, which she redeemed for justice for black and other disadvantaged farmers.

 

3) How has this nominee served as a mentor, role model, or made any other significant contributions to community action and/or the field of practice of leadership?

 

Shirley remained committed to rural Black Georgians during a consequential election year in an area hit hardest by the pandemic.  During the pandemic, she organized rural communities to vote and was likely partly responsible for that historic result.  On a personal note, Shirley helped a black farmer in North Carolina who owned a century farm to beat back threats aimed at getting her and her family to sell or abandon their land to make way for development.  Leaders work high but look low.   And Shirley continues to center her leadership on the voiceless.

 

Several years ago, Shirley gave Group 13 members a personal tour of civil rights artifacts at  the MLK Center in Atlanta. It was an experience we will always treasure. We had the opportunity to visit the Sherrods for the 50th anniversary of one of the Albany Movement Marches.  Shirley’s continued role in the community as a tireless campaigner cannot be overstated. That persistence, brilliance and clarity about the importance of justice and equality makes Shirley Sherrod a perfect choice for the Lorraine Matusak Award.

 

Vanessa Ruiz Luis Somaza [email protected] 04142325523

Gobierno Interino de Venezuela
Caracas, Venezuela
1060

Parallel to political work, he has carried out work of great social and community impact. Since 2009, when he started the non-profit foundation Jóvenes con la Comunidad, he has served as Secretary General of said organization, which is made up of a group of young people who believe in the need to promote citizen participation and community commitment. as processes that guarantee social growth in a lasting way.
Because of his leadership and the roles and responsibilities he has assumed in the last 13 years in the opposition's democratic struggle, he has been the victim of defamation, persecution and threats by the dictatorship.
In April 2020, his personal assistant was kidnapped, his family residence and that of his parents were besieged for days by state security forces.
In July 2021 he suffered an attack together with President (E) Juan Guaidó, then spokesmen for the dictatorship declared that the intention was to arrest Somaza

However, none of these actions has weakened his commitment and despite the threats, he continues to fight for the freedom of Venezuela.
Chelsea Caldwell Elsbeth K. Paige-Jeffers [email protected] 207.899.8569

11 Green Street, Apartment 5
Concord, NH 03301

Elsbeth is a bold and outspoken ally for change, particularly regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our paths crossed at an event held by our university’s Office of Diversity, which hosts weekly meetings to discuss pertinent DEI topics. Elsbeth’s knowledge of the subjects and ability to synthesize information in a meaningful way was immediately apparent.

Since that initial meeting, I have observed her continue this advocacy throughout our organization in many ways: weekly “did you know?” emails that cover everything from transgender rights to the origin of the term “grandfathered in”; representation on our university’s diversity council and pride in the workplace steering committee; counseling and advocating for friends in her communities; vocalizing injustices to BIPOC populations within university communications.

Most recently, Elsbeth has stood in the gap and entered into a process with the Restorative Community Response Team to address an email from a university leader that undermined BIPOC populations. Her willingness to advocate for and alongside those who have experienced injustices, and to do so from an informed and articulate perspective, takes courage and persistence. This is not the first time she has sought to reconcile bias within her circles; her passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion are an inherent part of her walk and her work.

Cathy Raines Robert L. Jackson [email protected] (662)326-4611

P. O. Box 383
Marks, MS 38646

Please see uploaded file.

Helena Iaquinta Elsbeth K. Paige-Jeffers [email protected] Office Phone: 888.387.0861

11 Green Street, Apartment 5
Concord, NH 03301

  1. I have had the privilege of knowing Elsbeth for several years. Each interaction is an opportunity to stretch as a human and grow in my knowledge of equity work. They are a force to be reckoned with, a person who is steadfast in their advocacy, and consistently shares alternate narratives for marginalized populations when those who hold those identities are not present or may not feel safe enough to speak up. Elsbeth can confidently and effortlessly verbally spar with the best of them and I have often heard people say “they have an eloquent way of schooling people”. No matter what hierarchical level a person might be at within our organization, Elsbeth will make sure they are considering the impact and/or harm caused when not taking the lived experiences of others into consideration.
  2. I have seen Elsbeth take the reins as a steering committee member for the Pride in the Workplace Affinity Group, run events as an active core member for the Diversity Council, become a staff mentor, offer their lived experiences as a learning opportunity in weekly group conversation rooms, and send weekly emails sharing knowledge and education for their team to upskill in diversity, equity, and inclusion work.
  3. Through the roles and responsibilities mentioned above, Elsbeth has demonstrated leadership through their ability to collaborate with others, to delegate tasks, to raise differing perspectives, to be empathetic of others, and to make space for all voices. I have seen others look up to Elsbeth for their confidence and quick wit. I know that they have role modeled to our organization how to incorporate a land acknowledgment which has been something that was put on the back burner for far too long. Elsbeth is unapologetic in who they are and how they carry themselves. I know I am a better leader from working so closely with them and appreciate their feedback, input, and inspiration.
Aubrey Sargent Elsbeth Paige-Jeffers [email protected] 207-899-8569

11 Green St
Apt
Concord, NH 03301

Elsbeth’s leadership contributions to promote the common good include using her privilege as a cis white person to speak up for instances of social injustices when she sees them. She is not afraid to use her voice to call out behaviors that harm others intentionally or unintentionally. On numerous occasions I have witnessed her speaking up and holding space for marginalized voices to drive change within social settings and educate the offender. For instance, when a well meaning, but ultimately problematic email had language that erased the lived experiences of BIPOC people, she discussed with peers and ultimately with human resources within her organization to set up a meeting with the sender. She is adept at explaining impact vs intent and how even if someone means, well it can still negatively impact a receiver and it is important to consider messages and content through a less privileged lens.

Elsbeth is a member of her organization’s diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) group. She does more than attend meetings and discuss DEI related issues within the university context, she also lives it. She is deep in the work of promoting DEI in all facets of her life including and not limited to her personal and professional relationships. She has been able to have tough conversations and get through to people about the impact of their language in a university community that has people of many different backgrounds. It is an achievement to not only have  discourse with senior leadership but also engage in a way that those leaders realize the importance of impact their words can have on the community at large.

Elsbeth has served as a role model in her personal life by being a passionate leader when it comes to using her voice to speak up and out about injustices she witnesses. She encourages others to consider their words and actions and promotes critical thinking. She is confident in her work and willing to listen and learn when she recognizes gaps in her own education.

Sarah Christa Butts Sarah Christa Butts [email protected] 410-530-5303

National Association of Social Workers
750 First Street NE, Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20002

Information is attached.

Danielle Carniaux Elsbeth Paige-Jeffers [email protected] (207) 899-8569

11 Green St, Apt 5
Concord, NH 03301

To Whom It May Concern:

I have known Elsbeth Paige-Jeffers for 15 years in multiple capacities: as a teammate, as a mentor and as a friend. In this time I have never ceased to be amazed by Elsbeth’s leadership skills.

Elsbeth Paige-Jeffers is deeply commitment to equity and diversity initiatives and uses her leadership position within higher education in earnest pursuit of both. Elsbeth is a realist but still maintains exceptionally high expectations of herself and those around her. She believes in a better, just world for everyone and takes active steps in achieving this. She courageously participates in and facilitates difficult conversations with allies and perpetrators alike, adhering to restorative justice protocols and practices in these discussions.

Most recently, I was an observer in a professional development session Elsbeth led on the representation of trans people in the media. Elsbeth selected a few texts to generate conversation within the group. She intuitively knew when to step forward and speak and step back and listen, seamlessly modelling how to use her privilege and positionality within this group. Elsbeth transitioned this conversation to trans rights and actionable steps the community could take to protect and promote these rights. The conversation was thoughtful and ended on a particularly hopeful and positive note—something that many equity-based conversations don’t always end in.

Elsbeth is a strong woman and an excellent candidate. She is a remarkable leader, fearless in her pursuits and tenacious in her efforts. I wholeheartedly recommend Elsbeth for this fellowship. If you have any question about Elsbeth’s credentials or qualifications, please do not hesitate to contact me: (631) 903-0321 or [email protected]

Sincerely,

Danielle Carniaux

Lynette D. Grace Lynette D. Grace [email protected] (614) 440-7069

Lynette D. Grace
3038 Whitlow Road
Columbus, Ohio 43232

1). After my mother’s funeral I spent the night with a woman I looked up to and admired as my friend as well as my Spiritual Mother. During the course of the night her 16 year old son stabbed her to death (his mother) in the basement of their home. Without provocation he began stabbing me but I survived the knife attack. After a number of years I went to the prison to find out why he stabbed  his mother to death. He was remorseful and he unexpectedly asked me to forgive him for his actions against me. To my surprise I said I forgive you because I felt as though I couldn’t do any less for him than what God had done for me by allowing me to escape being murdered myself.

2). Because of my story I was asked by an Ohio Senator to give testimony at the Senate as well as the House of Representatives for Bills going through legislation in order to persuade them to pass the bill(s) to give kids who were sentenced as youths an opportunity to go to the Parole Board.

3) I have taken my message of Forgiveness and an opportunity for a second chance to Washington, D.C., with an organization I am an advocate with called “The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youths.” My story of forgiveness can be found on a website called “The Forgiveness Project.” If you Google my name Lynette Grace the story should come up for you. Here is the link to my webpage as well. https://forgivinggrace731.com. I have purple buttons that I share with my audience after I am done sharing my story that say “Forgiveness is Contagious, Pass it On,” “God’s Grace Penetrates the Penitentiary,” (which is a play on my last name being Grace) and “Forgiving Grace by His Design.”  I have been invited and went to London, England, Kitchener Canada, prisons, schools, Churches wherever I am invited to share my story/testimony of Forgiveness and second chances, travelling mostly at my own expense, because I am called to a higher calling. Thank you very much for allowing me the opportunity to share my story of Forgiveness with you. – Lynette Grace.

Cynthia Cherrey Nour Al Hassan [email protected] +971 50 441 7140

Tarjama

Adress:UAE – Dubai Design District – Office 204

Nour is a leading entrepreneur in the localization and translation technology space. She is the Founder and CEO of Tarjama, a provider of smart language solutions that houses a full range of language capabilities and technologies supporting 55+ languages. She’s also the Founder and Chairwoman of Ureed.com, a digital marketplace connecting global employers with over 55,000 certified freelancers. She’s currently managing the hyper-growth of the companies in 8 markets and leading a team of over 300 colleagues.

Nour is a lifelong advocate of women’s empowerment. Her passion for the social inclusion of women and youth drove her to start Tarjama and Ureed.com. Seeing an undervalued network of exceptional and talented women in Jordan coupled with a gap in the region for professional, high-quality business content, she founded Tarjama in 2008. She chose to challenge conventional norms and left her career in law, going on to excel in the translation and localization fields. She has a strong enthusiasm for social inclusion, women empowerment, and opportunity creation and she has dedicated her life to these causes.

 

Her companies, Tarjama and Ureed.com, train and employ the largest network of Arabic-speaking women translators and linguists in the world. With a futuristic view of the language industry, she is dedicated to building and developing proprietary language technologies to transform the way her company and the industry works in the region.

 

Realizing the important role technology and AI plays in today’s age, Nour shifted Tarjama to a tech-enabled LSP to meet the challenges customers were facing in the MENA region and beyond.  Leveraging 12+ years of high-quality data, talented linguists, and an in-house AI team, Tarjama builds robust language technologies – including a cutting-edge machine translation, translation management system, auto-subtitling platform, client-facing portal, optical character recognition, and more –  all geared to empower the Arabic-speaking markets.

Nour grew up in Amman, Jordan but never missed an opportunity to travel the world and get exposure to global cultures and businesses. She holds a degree from Al Ahliyya Amman University in Law and holds various leadership executive certificates from Singularity University, Stanford University, and Harvard University.

Alexandra Murayda Elsbeth Paige-Jeffers [email protected] 207.899.8569

Southern New Hampshire University
11 Green Street, Apartment 5
Concord, NH
03301

Elsbeth leverages her approachability to promote positive change during difficult situations. She is incredibly intentional and assesses her receiver’s readiness-level and background knowledge when communicating ideas or thoughts. Elsbeth is a human-centered leader who consistently seeks to understand the people she leads while challenging them to be the best versions of themselves. She takes responsibility and ownership to educate others on DEI initiatives and sends a weekly “Did You Know?” email focusing on diversity and equality. She exhibits a strong growth mindset in her role and interactions with her peers. She frequently designs team activities and mentors her peers to inspire others to hold a strong growth mindset.

Elsbeth holds multiple advanced degrees in leadership. She has also served as a professor and educator, teaching many on leadership and equality. As a coach, Elsbeth promotes personal growth and wellness. She has received several academic awards, such as the Research Award from the Maine Psychological Association, and served on many boards as a director. Her many publications and times as a critical speaker has influenced others on leadership, wellness, and equality. She is a multifaceted individual with many talents and strong regard for human rights.

Regardless if she is a peer, leader, coach, or educator in a scenario, Elsbeth exemplifies her intelligence and care in all of her interactions. She exhibits so much GRIT in her day-to-day, and it is highly contagious to the people she leads. She is an avid volunteer and serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Metacog Misfits and many other organizations. Her publications, such as “The Feedback Loop: Developing Habits and the Self,” teach others how to reflect upon their leadership journey and how they can further develop themselves as leaders. Elsbeth relishes leadership in everything she does, and the people she coaches and leads consider her invaluable. She has made the world a better place in so many ways and will continue to do so as an influential, inspirational leader of humans.

Jackline Ndungwa Waiharo Jackline Ndungwa Waiharo [email protected] +254729775556

Gifted Community Center-GCC

I have attached a supporting document.

Keith Carlon Elsbeth Paige-Jeffers [email protected] (207) 899-8569

11 Green Street, Apartment 5
Concord, NH 03301

Elsbeth Paige-Jeffers is a force of nature in and of herself. As I know her, she is determined, compassionate, forthright, and judicious in all things. As a leader and community activator, she has done so much in the organizations she’s worked with/for to promote personal growth and wellness amongst her peers, she has engendered a keen sense of cultural competency and inclusion, and furthermore has worked hard to develop policies and governing documents that guide fundamental and critical activities.

Some of Elebeth’s most notable achievements include (but are in no way limited to) a handful of experiences that contribute to quite a storied and ongoing development as a leader. Coaching is in no way a small feat, especially at the collegiate athletic level. Elsbeth spent 4 very special years as an Assistant Coach on Bowdoin College’s highly competitive Women’s Rugby team. During this time, she was also afforded a speaking engagement on the topic Athletic Leadership at Bowdoin College, something that she knows much about given her coaching experience and high level of engagement in the Olympic powerlifting community. As an instructor of gifted students at the University of California: Irvine, Elsbeth showed great poise by developing course content in the Leadership, Business, and Management spheres while also engaging deeply with the constructs of intersectionality, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Currently, and most recently, Elsbeth has committed herself to a Learning Architect position at the Southern New Hampshire University. It is here that she is focused on the critical work of engaging with educational stakeholders on designing curricula, establishing best practices, and creating best higher learning experiences.

Aside from the time spent as an Assistant Coach with Bowdoin College’s Women’s Rugby team, Elsbeth has shown grace and fortitude as a role model in plenty of other areas. She is a member of the Diversity Council at SNHU, she has sat on the steering committee for Pride in the Workplace at SNHU, in 2012-2015 she volunteered as a member of the Board of Directors at Speak About It, and as time goes on she continues to surprise and delight me in all the ways that she is willing to fight for what she believes in. I am most excited to nominate her for the Alliance for Leadership Fellows’ Matusak Courageous Leadership Award, as I think she is most deserving of it.

Michael Betzold Mona Hanna-Attisha [email protected] 810-600-5653

Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative
300 E. 1st St.
Flint MI 48502

Flint, Michigan became known as the city where the drinking water was poisoned due to state government negligence. Dr. Hanna-Attisha brought this scandal to the world’s attention by courageously exposing the devastating impact on the children of Flint. She made sure what she uncovered would not be hidden any longer. As a journalist alert to the dangers of indifferent and often malign public officials, I consider her work to be a signal achievement in the battle for social justice. She is director of the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, an innovative and model public health program. She’s testified twice before the United States Congress, has been awarded the Freedom of Expression Courage Award by PEN America, and has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for her role in uncovering the Flint water crisis and leading recovery efforts. Her parents were Iraqi scientists and dissidents who fled Saddam Hussein’s repressive regime. Her acclaimed book, What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City, details her decision to expose her findings before scientific review was completed—and in doing so she placed the safety of Flint’s children ahead of professional restrictions, risking her career. That decision models human welfare over academic values and embodies the priorities needed in a true leader.

 

Kent Wong Ju Hong [email protected] 5103167749

Board Chair, National Korean American Service and Education Consortium
4301 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA, 94609

NOMINATION OF JU HONG

 Submitted by Kent Wong, SCoRE member and KNFP X Fellow

Provide a synopsis of the nominee’s courageous leadership contributions that exhibit his ability as an effective agent of change in promoting the common good in difficult times and situations.

I have known Ju Hong, a nationally recognized immigrant youth leader, for 12 years.  I first met him when he was Student Body President of Laney College in Oakland, California.  Ju Hong was the youngest and first Asian American student body president in the history of the college, in a predominantly African American student body.   Ju Hong was also undocumented, with no legal rights in this country and with the possibility that he could be deported back to his home country of South Korea.

I was invited by Laney College to present a UCLA Labor Center publication Underground Undergrads, the first book in the country written by and about undocumented immigrant students.  Ju Hong used the book as a fundraiser to launch the first scholarship program for undocumented students of Laney College. When he delivered the commencement address at his graduation, he revealed his own status as an undocumented student before the college.

Ju Hong went on to attend and graduate from UC Berkeley, where he was a Student Senator.  He was one of the first undocumented students to obtain a masters degree from San Francisco State University.  He also was a founder of ASPIRE, the first undocumented youth organization for Asian Americans.

Ju Hong participated in the UCLA Labor Center’s “Dream Summer” program in 2011, the first national fellowship program for undocumented immigrant youth leaders, which is now in its tenth year.  In 2011, Ju Hong helped to organize a campaign that successfully passed the “California Dream Act” in the California State Legislature which has provided state financial support to undocumented students for more than a last decade.  Tens of thousands of undocumented students, like Ju Hong, have benefited as a consequence.

Ju Hong went on to become the first Asian American undocumented immigrant to participate in a civil disobedience action to protest deportations of immigrant youth. He risked arrest and deportation to fight for the rights of undocumented youth who were brought to this country as children to remain in the U.S.

Ju Hong is currently the board chair for the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium, serving the needs of the Korean American community across the country.  It is highly unusual for such a young man in his early 30’s to serve in this capacity, especially one who is undocumented.  This is a testament to his leadership and impact.

What are the nominee’s most notable achievements as a courageous leader and/or follower?

In 2011, Ju Hong made national news when he interrupted a speech by President Barack Obama in San Francisco, California, pleading with the President to stop the deportation of immigrant youth.  President Obama, in response, stated to Ju Hong that he did not have the “legal authority” to stop the deportation of immigrant youth.

This act of disruption ignited a national debate on whether the President does have the legal authority to stop the deportation of immigrant youth.  As a result, more than 100 law professors from throughout the country signed a letter to the President indicating that he in fact has legal authority to stop the deportation of immigrant youth.

In June 2012, President Obama signed into law “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) which has provided 800,000 undocumented youth relief from the threat of deportation, as well as work authorization.  Studies reflect that having work authorization has resulted in a 40% increase in wages for DACA recipients, who no longer have to work in the underground economy.

Although for four years President Trump attempted to overturn DACA, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld DACA in Summer 2020.  President Biden has pledged to maintain and to expand DACA.

How has this nominee served as a mentor, role model, or made any other significant contributions to community action and/or the field of practice of leadership?

In this critical period of time when there has been an alarming rise in anti-Asian violence, Ju Hong and NAKASEC have been playing a leading role in speaking out and organizing against anti-Asian violence.  The San Francisco Bay Area has been the area with one of the highest concentrations of attacks against Asians.

Ju Hong continues to play a leadership role within the immigrant youth movement.  Although he is a DACA recipient, due to lack of staff and resources for the program, he was one of 50,000 immigrant youth who had their DACA renewal applications delayed.  As a result, these immigrant youth are no longer allowed to work, and Ju Hong and tens of thousands of other immigrant were laid off from work.  He continued to educate immigrant youth throughout the country to encourage them to apply for DACA, and to lobby the Biden administration and members of Congress to address the bureaucratic errors and lack of resources that have delayed the application renewal process.

Ju Hong is featured in a new book published by the UCLA Labor Center Asian American Workers Rising.  The book celebrates the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, of which Ju Hong has been an active member.  APALA was established in 1992 with support from the Kellogg Foundation.  I was a Kellogg National Fellow at the time, and my learning plan was to establish and launch the first national organization of Asian American workers.

Ju Hong also was a featured speaker before the Board of Trustees of the Kellogg Foundation in a presentation on the Asian Pacific American community in July 2021.

For the first time in a decade, immigration reform is back on the national agenda. President Biden has made this a priority of his administration.  The impact of immigrant youth has been crucial in shifting national public opinion about immigration policy, especially through the enactment of DACA and the unjust treatment of immigrants who were brought to this country as children.

To award Ju Hong a Larraine Matusak Leadership Award would recognize Ju Hong’s courageous leadership, his impact nationally to advance justice and equity, and especially at a critical time when immigration reform and anti-Asian hate have galvanized national attention.

 

Tinesha Cherry Tinesha Cherry [email protected] 17345026415

Tinesha Cherry Speaks
678 Blairmoor Ct
Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236

Tinesha Cherry is an author, poet, international speaker, leadership trainer, women’s empowerment coach, entrepreneur, founder and federal law enforcement officer.  As a strategic creative and advocate for gender equity and racial equality, Tinesha has been breaking barriers and creating positive social and cultural change for more than 20 years.

 

As a federal law enforcement officer with the Department of Homeland Security, Tinesha serves as a fifth level manager responsible for both local and national programs within her organization.  In addition to her duties as an Assistant Director, Mrs. Cherry has taken the initiative to create multiple programs designed to empower and engage employees, improve workplace culture and advance greater gender diversity within her organization of more than 30,000 employees.

 

Some of Mrs. Cherry’s most notable grass-roots initiatives focus on the leadership, empowerment and development of women, the training and development of first and second level Supervisors and the development of a national effort that creates a safe environment for employees to share their thoughts, feelings, and perspectives on racial and social injustice.

 

In response to recent collective traumatic experiences highlighting disparities, discrimination, stigma, and implicit biases associated with the current racial climate in the United States, Mrs. Cherry sought to build and advance a supportive and inclusive climate that fosters mutual respect and understanding among the workforce within her organization.  With that in mind, Tinesha developed a program that creates a safe environment for employees to participate in difficult conversations while sharing their thoughts, feelings, and perspectives on race relations in America.

 

As an African American female working in a Caucasian male dominated environment, Mrs. Cherry demonstrates great strength and courage when advocating for the need to have real conversations illuminating the ills in our society that perpetuate racial and social injustice.  Talking about race is challenging and often intimidating, but with perseverance and fortitude, Mrs. Cherry encourages direct conversations about disparities, discrimination, stigma, and implicit bias to breakdown silos and communication barriers.  By challenging others to review, question and analyze their own personal biases and assumptions, Mrs. Cherry hopes to not only create a culture of increased openness, greater respect for differences and an increased awareness and understanding within her organization, but hopes that her work will transcend beyond her agency to help breakdown silos and communication barriers across the country and around the world.

 

Tinesha has also developed a women’s empowerment workshop that she delivers both within her organization and in the private industry.  Her workshop is designed to help women of all ages, backgrounds and experiences achieve greatness by being bold, brave, beautiful, brilliant, and balanced.  Through her workshop, hundreds of women from across the country and around the world have been equipped with the courage to face challenges head on, the strength to grow their resilience and the mindset to awaken, build, strengthen and reveal their inner champion.

 

Tinesha Cherry has held a formal leadership position within her organization for 20 years.  As a 5th level manager, Mrs. Cherry has trained hundreds of leaders across the country to maximize their leadership skills and lead with confidence.   Through her personally developed leadership training, both new and seasoned leaders from across the country have learned to overcome insecurities, build courage, confidence, and character, and become balanced and respected leaders and mentors.

 

Having experienced extreme adversity as a child, Tinesha Cherry has firsthand knowledge of the power of resilience, the impact of optimism and the outcome of perseverance. Tinesha was born to a mother addicted to heroin, she was born with heroin in her system, she has never met her father, she has been subjected to physical, mental and emotional abuse and molestation, her earliest childhood memory was living in an abandoned apartment building where she and her family had to put old food cans on the window seal when it rained just to get water to drink, she has survived the foster care system and she is the product of the adoption system.

 

Today, Mrs. Cherry uses her own powerful story of overcoming extreme adversity to serve as an example of what can be achieved through perseverance.

 

Tinesha Cherry is dedicated to helping girls and women develop the skills, outlook and framework needed to achieve greatness now and into the future.  Through her organization She Strong International, Tinesha aims to promote growth, prosperity and greatness in adolescent girls and women everywhere, regardless of age, race, social standing or economic status.  Her vision is to enlighten, encourage and empower women across the country and the world to awaken, build, strengthen and reveal their inner champion.  She Strong hopes to build the self-esteem and self-worth of all girls and is dedicated to helping women of all ages, during all stages, through all phases of womanhood to be bold, brave, beautiful, brilliant and balanced.

 

Mrs. Cherry has helped hundreds of women both locally, nationally and internationally to identify their personal vision, address the pain and break the chain of self-doubt to reshape their destiny.

 

Hard work, perseverance and resilience are the values that Project DREAM and She Strong Intl are founded on.  Each year She Strong Intl awards a scholarship to a deserving college bound high school graduate who exemplifies those qualities.

 

Tinesha Cherry is dedicated to promoting growth, prosperity and greatness in at risk youth.  Through her organization Project D.R.E.A.M. (Delivering Results Effectively to Advance Myself), Tinesha aims to create a ripple effect to break the cycle of poverty by helping those who come from economically depressed areas obtain the vision, inspiration, resources, and the specific strategies needed to attain positive life goals.  Tinesha focuses on transformational thinking, personal development and economic growth to help build the self-esteem and self-worth of at-risk youth.

 

Tinesha Cherry routinely speaks at schools, youth events and youth programs to promote personal resilience, self-empowerment and career preparation.  Tinesha Cherry has encouraged and empowered hundreds of at-risk youths to expand their outlook on life through education, leadership and direction through her efforts as a philanthropist.

 

Mrs. Cherry is a transformational leader with a national impact.