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The Racial Justice Awards ceremony and reception is held annually at Syracuse Stage’s Sutton Pavilion prior to viewing the stage production in Archbold Theater.

InterFaith Works is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2017 Racial Justice Awards, which will be presented at the 2017 Racial Justice Awards ceremony on Wednesday, March 1, at 5:30 p.m. at Syracuse Stage. The awards ceremony will be followed by Syracuse Stage’s production of Ain’t Misbehavin’ at 7:30 p.m. The suggested ticket donation is between $30 and $150. Any gift above $30 is tax-deductible. Please reserve your tickets by Friday, Feb. 17, by calling Gwen Sanders at 315-449-3552, ext. 119, email gsanders@interfaithworkscny.org, or by returning the printable ticket reservation form.

Click on this button to securely purchase tickets online for the event:

The Racial Justice Award honorees are selected from nominations of youth and adult individuals and organizations whose efforts have produced or contributed toward ending racial injustice and promoting social equity in Central New York. Past honorees include educators, community activists and business professionals who have channeled their passion and skills into this important work.

This year’s honorees are Zau Jat N-Hkum, Hon. Jawwaad Rasheed, Laurel Ullyette, and the Brady Faith Center.

Zau Jat N-Hkum will receive the Youth Award. He is a senior at Institute of Technology (ITC) at Syracuse Central and is a leader in a number of school activities, including the formation of a Diversity Club at ITC, the Seeds of Peace, Teen Institute, and Citizen U. He served as a facilitator in the El-Hindi Center for Dialogue’s Dialogue to End Racism program between ITC and Central Square high schools and joined in the four-mile march from the Onondaga Nation to Syracuse to support native rights related to Standing Rock. He speaks up to end bullying of all kinds, including homophobia, Islamophobia and racism. He feels passionately about the injustices he saw inflicted on his people (the Kachin from Burma and Myanmar) and wants to continue to find ways to stop injustice in his new home, Syracuse.

Hon. Jawwaad Rasheed will receive the Catalyst Award for his active community work in advancing social and racial equity causes, particularly through educational attainment. His work bridges Onondaga and Oneida counties. Among other activities, Judge Rasheed is a family court judge in Oneida County, a board of trustee member for Syracuse Academy of Science, vice president of operations for the 100 Black Men and a senior member of Frontiers International. He is co-director of the Junior Frontiers of Mohawk Valley, which is an African-American civic organization with the goal of providing support to minority children. The percentage of Junior Frontiers’ students attending college immediately after high school has increased from 55 percent in 2001 to 100 percent every year since 2004.

Laurel Ullyette will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Zeal for parenthood, concern for orphaned children, and a commitment to help all families successfully adopt children led Ullyette and her husband to work in international and transracial adoption. When her own adopted children began school, Ullyette devoted her day in the classroom, helping all of the children to better understand and appreciate the differences in their ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Through New Beginnings, she provided casework and counseling to prospecting and pre-adoptive parents and has been involved in nearly 100 successful adoptions. She served as the co-chair (with Dr. Cathy Leogrande of Le Moyne College) of the Mayor’s Social Justice Task Force in Auburn, NY, and then for more than five years as the driving force behind the Community Wide Dialogue to End Racism in Auburn. Ullyette has worked tirelessly for the cause of social justice and diversity, often overcoming an indifferent (if not hostile) environment.

Former Auburn Mayor Melina Carnicelli described Laurel as a “united flame,” bringing people together to “do the heart work.”

Brady Faith Center will receive the Organizational Award for its dedicated and tireless commitment to equal rights and service to Syracuse’s South Side residents. The Brady Faith Center’s (BFC) mission is to meet the spiritual, educational, and social needs of individuals and families in the Southwest Community of Syracuse. It is an urban mission which serves as an “oasis for peace, hope, and justice.” BFC has a 70-year history, begun by Father Charlie J. Brady, of walking the streets and neighborhoods of Syracuse, loving people, advocating for justice, and spreading the good news that God’s compassion and grace is present for all. Programs such as a five week Vacation Bible School, Jail Ministry, Pedal to Possibilities, the Brady Farm and Summer Servants are five of the 22 programs which BFC provides for the surrounding community.

Follow this link for the Ain’t Misbehavin‘ production event page on the Syracuse Stage website.