The Amherst Human Rights Commission has announced the names of recipients of the 2015 Human Rights Heroes awards. Commission Chair Greg Bascomb says “we are excited about the qualities of the 2015 Human Rights Heroes Award winners, and equally appreciative of the community members who recognize their gifts and nominated them. In acknowledging the collective acts of these young people, we recognize that they are representative of the finest young people in our community. Sometimes we forget the capacity for kindness and understanding that resides in our community. As much as any other factor, it is our youth who make Amherst, and surrounding communities, the best places to live and raise families.” 2015 individual winners accomplished many achievements including organizing a 350 student walk out to dialogue about individual and institutional racism, serving for 3 years on the Amherst Human Rights Commission, organizing a panel of guest speakers to talk about racism, taking a stand against bullying and for student identity, displaying empathy and caring to other students, completing a model food drive for the Amherst Survival Center, serving as mentors throughout the school system, becoming Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN) scholars, and demonstrating general leadership attributes.
The 2015 individual recipients are 2015 ARHS graduates Liam Brodigan, Larenz Harris, Sajo Jefferson, and Shekenah Rocke, ARHS 11th grader Noreen Swan, Crocker Farm School 6th graders Khalila Lord-Arond and Yabanex Toro-Rodriguez, Fort River School 6th graders Seo-Ho Lee and Celia Malone, Crocker Farm School 3rd grader Lauren Joy and 2nd grader Kouta Ueki. Receiving a first ever Class Award is the 18 student Pelham Elementary School 4th grade, which completed a food drive to benefit the Amherst Survival Center at the end of 3rd grade. Nominators included teachers, advisors, students and community members.
Recipients will be celebrated for their achievements at the Commmission’s annual community potluck picnic and awards celebration at Mill River Recreation Area, 95 Montague Road in Amherst on Sunday, June 14, 2015 from 12-3pm. The entire community is invited and encouraged to bring a dish to share. This year’s picnic will also incorporate the Town’s first observation of Race Amity Day.