West Hollywood City Councilmember Lindsey Horvath and Jasmyne Cannick, who has helped lead the campaign to have Ed Buck arrested for the drug-related deaths of men in his WeHo apartment, are among nine people and organizations recognized today with the John Anson Ford Human Relations Awards.
The awards were made today by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the L.A. County Commission on Human Relations. The awards are part of an annual event to honor “exemplary innovators and change-makers for their contributions towards transforming prejudice into acceptance, inequity into justice and hostility into peace within the communities of Los Angeles County,” says an announcement of the awards.
“The individuals and organizations we recognize today are models for how we strengthen human relations in our County,” said Otto Solorzano, acting director of the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging, and Community Services. “From providing safe spaces for LGBTQ youth and adults, to fostering greater understanding between people of different faiths, to reducing bias and bullying in our classrooms, these exemplary changemakers are transforming our communities.”
In the announcement of the awards, the county said Horvath” has a long history of civic and social justice advocacy including spearheading policies to make West Hollywood an “age-friendly community” and leading the city to become the first in the nation to impose financial sanctions on Arizona for its discriminatory, anti-immigration SB-1070 law. She also created the first-ever West Hollywood Community Response Team to Domestic Violence. She is a champion of LGBTQ rights having served as a board member of the Victory Fund and a founding board member of the NOH8 Campaign.”
“Jasmyne Cannick has been writing and speaking publicly since 2004, developing a national following for her willingness to take on uncomfortable and hard to discuss issues around race, politics and society. Jasmyne brings attention to stories that would have gone under-reported, overlooked, or just ignored.
“She has won numerous awards for her op-eds and reporting and is a frequent on-air contributor. For nearly 15 years Jasmyne has worked at all levels of government including in the California State Assembly as a press secretary before reprising that role in the House of Representatives for a member of Congress. Locally, she’s worked for several city and county governments including five mayors.”
Others recognized are:
Dr. Patricia Gándara (Yvonne B. Burke Courage Award) – Gándara is a research professor and co-director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. She is also director of education for the University of California – Mexico Initiative.
“Among many accomplishments, Dr. Gándara has shown wisdom and courage in her research on educational equity and access for low income and ethnic minority students. She received the Distinguished Career Award from the Scholars of Color of the American Educational Research Association and was appointed to President Obama’s National Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.”
Dr. Virginia Uribe (John Allen Buggs Leadership Award) – Uribe, who died in March, was a science teacher and college counselor at Fairfax High School in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 42 years. “Uribe’s interest in the issues faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students in schools began while doing research for her Ph.D. in psychology,” says the announcement. “She became a sought-after expert in the field throughout the U.S. She helped found the Project 10 Program and numerous programs that help support LGBTQ youth throughout Los Angeles County and which have become models for inclusion throughout the country.”
Club Scum. The announcement describes Club Scum as “a boundary-pushing, community-building queer punk event at Club Chico, located on the border of East Los Angeles and Montebello. It is a platform that welcomes everyone and provides queer Latinx youth a space to gather, create, dance, sweat, feel safe, and transcend the routines of everyday life.
“Club SCUM has now grown to work with the community through fundraising for local organizations and an upcoming workshop series for LGBTQ youth. It has also evolved into similar remote events in other major cities such as San Francisco, New York and Mexico City.
Guibord Center’s Transformative Engagement Initiative. The announcement says that “the essence of the Guibord Center’s mission is to challenge assumptions in ways that are empowering instead of confrontational, expansive rather than polarizing, cohesive and liberating instead of shaming and destructive. Transformational engagement means immersing participants in an experience that opens their heart to the Spirituality that removes the barriers separating us from one another. The engagement is most often a compelling experience of something unknown or unexpected that unfolds within a deliberately crafted program.”
Pacoima Beautiful: Youth United Towards Environmental Protection (Y.U.T.E.P) Y.U.T.E.P. is described as “the largest coalition of youth environmentalists in the San Fernando Valley. Consisting of middle and high school students from the San Fernando Valley, Y.U.T.E.P. members meet once a week at Pacoima Beautiful and in schools throughout the San Fernando Valley, where they learn about the environment and are empowered with knowledge on how to bring about positive change in their community. Y.U.T.E.P has graduated more than 500 students since its inception and the initiatives championed by Y.U.T.E.P. have increased the quality of life for the residents of the northeast San Fernando Valley.”
Californians Together: Guide for Safe and Welcoming Schools for Immigrant and Refugee Students in California. This organization, based in Long Beach, is described as “a statewide coalition with the goal of better educating 1.2 million English Learners by improving California’s schools and promoting equitable educational policy. Their ‘Guide for Safe and Welcoming Schools for Immigrant and Refugee Students in California’ is a comprehensive resource that includes district and classroom best practices, policy recommendations, and immigration-related resources for family engagement.
Western Justice Center: Creating Bias-Free Classrooms Program Western Justice Center “designed Creating Bias-Free Classrooms to help teachers address interpersonal and intergroup tensions before they escalate any further. Creating Bias-Free Classrooms uses scripted and improvisational live theater to create a learning laboratory where educators can test strategies to address bias, prevent bullying and foster safer, more inclusive environments where students can live, learn and thrive. Since January 2018, Creating Bias-Free Classrooms has trained more than 500 educators in 100 schools across 15 school districts in Los Angeles County.”