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RI for Community + Justice Honors 130 Leaders

Friday, November 02, 2012


Rhode Island for Community + Justice takes a gala night to celebrate 60 years of leadership in social justice.

Rhode Island for Community and Justice (RICJ) will celebrate 60 years of progressive social change by honoring 130 courageous Rhode Islanders who from 1952 to today, led the way in fighting prejudice and building bridges of understanding between all religions, races and cultures.

On Wednesday, November 7th, at 5:30 p.m. in the Rhode Island Convention Center Rotunda, the RICJ Diamond Jubilee Awards Ceremony continues a tradition that for over half a century has honored inspirational philanthropists and community leaders from our state with the “Community & Justice Award”. The Co-Chairs for this event are the Executive Directors over 40 years:  Charlotte Penn (serving from 1972-1993), Tony Maione (from 1993-2003) and Toby Ayers (from 2003 to today).  This year, RICJ honors its legacy and organizational history by returning to the stage awardees from past years. In this landmark year, RICJ will also award a “secret honoree”, an iconic RI social activist whose identity will be revealed at the ceremony.

An award that spans a history of social justice

This award has been a part of the fabric of Rhode Island since 1952, when the Rhode Island Chapter of the National Conference for Christians and Jews was formed. Continuing as its name changed to the National Conference for Community and Justice, and continuing in 2005 when the independent nonprofit Rhode Island for Community & Justice was established, the award reflects 60 years of unbroken history.  Despite many changes in the past 60 years, the organization has remained staunchly dedicated to the same core mission of fighting bias, bigotry and racism and promoting understanding and mutual respect between all races, religions and cultures. Honoring these 130 social justice advocates reflects what RICJ works towards: to transform the world into one where leaders and community members wield both hope and direct action, fueled by an inextinguishable passion to build common ground as a way of fighting injustice.

For 2012: a secret awardee

This years’ secret awardee is an individual who embodies the mission. Over 20 years, they worked tirelessly as a part of the organization to strengthen intergroup understanding, and have dedicated much of their long life as a volunteer bringing the forces of enlightenment and education to bear on racial and religious prejudice.  They created and led programs that helped Rhode Islanders achieve understanding in the midst of social tension, enabling individuals and groups to resolve differences and create communities based on respect and inclusion.  Part of their living legacy is a fund dedicated in their name at the Rhode Island Foundation, used to provide scholarships for at-risk Rhode Island youth to attend RICJ’s Project RESPECT summer leadership institute – changing the lives and promoting the success of many over the years. 

RICJ warmly invites the public to attend their annual event on Wednesday, Nov. 7th at 5:30 p.m. at the Rhode Island Convention Center, One Sabin Street, Providence, to watch Rhode Island history unfold by celebrating 60 years of building bridges of understanding.  Tickets are $100 and scholarships are available. The event includes a buffet of delicious and culturally diverse food and a cash bar will be available.


Awards given through Rhode Island for Community & Justice

2012: Secret Honoree to be awarded at the event

2011: Michael Evora, Christopher Hamblett 

2010: Gertrude Jones, James Purcell

2009: Howard Sutton, John Hazen White, Jr.

2008: Steven Issa, Keith Stokes

2007: Robert DiMuccio, Ruth Simmons and the Brown University Slavery and Justice Committee

2006: Joseph MarcAurele, Housing WorksRI - Anthony Maione, Ron Gallo, and Richard Godfrey •

2005: David Duffy

Awards given through the National Conference for Community and Justice, Rhode Island & Southeast NE Region

2004: John Warren, Very Rev. Maria DeCarvalho, Rabbi Wayne Franklin, Michelle Duso

2003: Dr. John Nazarian, Cheryl and Roland Snead

2002: Dr. John Bowen, Jessica Gonzalez, Katherine Montiero, Ann Szostak, Frederick Williamson, Sr.

2001: David Duffy, Armeather Gibbs, Alan Hassenfeld

2000: Dr. Robert Carothers, Lawrence Fish, Olga Noguera

1999: Rev. Naomi and Horace Craig, Shirley Gulvin, Norman Orodenker, Onna Moniz-John

1998: Sr. M. Therese Antone, H. Thomas Rowles, Thomas Whitten

1997: Gene Booth, B. Jae Clanton, Carol Grant

1996: Louis Fazzano, John Jordan, Joseph Newsome

1995: Frederick Lohrum, Patricia Martinez, Hon. Senator Claiborne Pell

1994: David Duffy, Richard Oster

1993: Hon. Lincoln Almond, Stephen and Jocelin Hamblett, Ann Hill, Arthur Robbins

Awards given through the National Conference for Christians and Jews

1992: Charles Goss, George Graboys, Eleanor McMahon

1991: Melvin Alperin, Rev. Richard Brown

1990: Alan and Stephen Hassenfeld, Erskine White •

1989: Sr. Lucille McKillop, James Winoker

1988: Dr. Edward Eddy, Rt. Rev. George N. Hunt, Michael Metcalf

1987: William Gilbane •1986: Arthur DeBlois, Chester Kirk

1985: Hon. Joseph Garrahy •

1984: Edwin Brown, Albert Ford, Gloria Lincourt

1983: Andrew Bell, Pauline Levine, Edward and Jean Mulligan, Hon. Florence Murray

1982: Sylvia Hassenfeld, Kathryn Owen, Henry Woodridge

1981: Hon. John Pastore •1980: Stuart Daniels, Most Rev. Louis Gilineau

1979: Andrew Hunt

1978: Maj. Gen. Leonard Holland, Very Rev. Thomas Peterson, Henry Sharp, Jr.

1977: Felix Mirando

1976: Martha Livingston, Robert Riesman

1975: Elwood Leonard, James Williams

1974: Clarence Gifford, Jr.

1973: Hon. Frank Licht

1972: Rev. M. Daniel Reilly

1971: Alexander Rumpler

1970: Stanley Grossman

1969: Rosella Switzer

1968: Frederick Williamson, Sr.

1967: Rev. Arthur Wilson

1966: William Edwards, Joseph Ress, Dennis Roberts •

1965: Dr. James Adams, Arthur Darman, Fr. Edward Flannery

1964: Rabbi Eli Bohnen, Rt. Rev. John Higgins, Most Rev. Russell McVinney

1963: Irving Fain

1962: Robert Crean

1961: Robert Goddard, Jr.

1960: T. Dawson Brown, Sen. Hiram Fong

1959: Max Grant, Hon. Jeremiah O’Connell, Raymond Trott

1958: George Hecht, Very Rev. Robert Slavin

1957: Dr. Percy Hodgson, Rabbi Theordore Lewis, Felix Mirando

1956: George Alpert, Dr. James Hanley, Dr. Barnaby Kenney

1955: Hon. Christian Herter

1954: Hon. Chester Bowles

1953: S. Foster Hunt, Edward Fay, Selma Fain Pilavin


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