On September 22, 2016, we celebrated local organizers and national leaders at the 12th annual Community Change Champions Awards. We gathered in the historic Howard Theatre to honor the following champions whose stories inspire us to keep fighting for social and racial justice:
Wade Henderson who reminded us that “our concerns may be unique, but our fates are inextricably linked.”
Cherri Delesline shared her story of courage as an emerging leader and organizer in the Fight for $15.
Maria Elena Durazo of UNITE HERE called on us to stand together: “What happens to immigrants, happens to America. What happens to workers, happens to America.”
Donna Hall of the Women Donors Network showed us the power of women united in bold philanthropy.
Gloria Walton of SCOPE reminded us of our movement’s strength when people have the space to act and speak on their own behalf.
Thank you to everyone who joined us, either in body or spirit. We hope to see you next year on October 12th 2017. You can still check out the gallery photos below.
2016 Event Photos
Group shot of all honorees and CCC executive team.
Honoree Gloria Walton celebrating with her family before the event.
Honorary Host Committee
2016 Honorary Host Committee
Arlene Holt Baker
Judith Browne Dianis
Luz Vega Marquis
Mary Beth Maxwell
Mary Kay Henry
Mary M. Lassen
Quinn Delaney, President of Akonadi Foundation
George Gresham, President of 1199 SEIU United Health Care Workers East
Pramila Jayapal, Executive Director of OneAmerica
Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera
Frances Fox Piven, Professor of Political Science CUNY
Congressman Raúl Grijalva, Arizona’s 7th District
Communications Workers of America
Paulette Meyer and David Friedman
Ohio Organizing Collaborative Award
Mary Kay Henry
Angelica Salas and Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
Susan Sandler and Steve Phillips
Katrina vanden Heuvel and The Nation
Dorsey Nunn and All of Us or None
Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
Jonathan and Connie Heller
Arnie Graf and the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation
Anthony “Marc” Perrone
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Champion in Philanthropic Leadership
Donna Hall is President & CEO of the Women Donors Network, a national community of 200+ progressive women who together and individually make contributions of more than $180 million a year toward social change. Recognizing that race, gender, and class are inextricably linked, WDN’s collaborative work takes an intersectional approach. We partnered with Gulf South Allied Funders to help rebuild the NOLA region after Hurricane Katrina, recently created the Jean Hardisty Catalytic Impact Fund which is supporting grassroots leadership in the Movement for Black Lives, and incubated the Reflective Democracy Campaign to address the severe underrepresentation of women and people of color in political power. WDN is based in San Francisco, California.
Champion in Community Activism
Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the nation’s premier civil and human rights coalition, and The Leadership Conference Education Fund. Under his stewardship, The Leadership Conference has become one of the nation’s most effective advocates for civil and human rights. Mr. Henderson is also the Joseph L. Rauh, Jr., Professor of Public Interest Law at the David A. Clarke School of Law, University of the District of Columbia. Prior to his role with The Leadership Conference, Mr. Henderson was the Washington Bureau director of the NAACP. Mr. Henderson is a graduate of Howard University and the Rutgers University School of Law. He is a member of the Bar in the District of Columbia and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Henderson has received countless awards and honors, including the prestigious Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights and the Charles Hamilton Houston Medallion of Merit from the Washington Bar Association.
Champion in Community Organizing
Gloria Walton has been called one of the country’s most exciting “next generation” political leaders. She is President & CEO of Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), a South L.A.-based community organization that ensures poor and working-class communities have an equal voice in the democratic process.
Under her leadership, SCOPE has played a pivotal role in passing statewide propositions. Ms. Walton also led the organizing effort for SCOPE’s green jobs and training programs.
She is a recipient of the James Irvine Foundation’s Fund for Leadership Advancement grant and was named one of Liberty Hill Foundation’s Leaders to Watch in 2011. She has recently received the 2016 NAACP-LA’s Empowerment Award and the LA League of Conservation Voters Environmental Justice Champion Award.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors of California Calls, the Coordinating Committee of the Black Worker Center, and is a Founding Advisory Board member of a national collaborative known as BOLD (Black Organizing for Leadership & Dignity).
Champion in Labor Partnership
Maria Elena Durazo is Vice President for Immigration, Diversity and Civil Rights at UNITE HERE. UNITE HERE represents 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries in the U.S. and Canada. Maria Elena served previously as Secretary Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO (2006-2015), and as an organizer, and then President of Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE) Local 11. In 2003, Maria Elena was National Director of the Immigrant Workers’ Freedom Ride, a national campaign to address the nation’s immigration laws.
Emerging Change Champion
Cherri Delesline is a Fight for $15 fast food worker organizer from Charleston, SC. She has worked as a cashier for McDonalds for 10 years, and has been organizing and fighting for living wages and better treatment of fast food workers. She takes bold risks and is a frontline organizer, having been arrested at McDonald’s headquarters, and also organizes amidst Klan intimidation in her neighborhood. She inspires other workers to fight this fight, and continues to build, even with limited access to resources and infrastructure.
These awards are all about honoring an outstanding group of leaders in the fight for economic equity and social justice. Each year we celebrate social justice heroes – both sung and unsung – who have dedicated their work and, in some cases, their lifetimes to change the lives of low-income people and people of color across the country.
The Emerging Change Champion Award was established by the Center for Community Change and the Petra Foundation to recognize emerging or overlooked champions of change, who work to build power for greater social and economic justice in low income communities, specifically low income communities of color. The application for nominating potential Emerging Change Champions is now closed.
Ed and Jan Booth
Susan Sandler and Steve Philips
United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, CLC
Gelman Rosenberg & Freedman
Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editor and Publisher, & The Nation
Nia Community Foundation
Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Quinn Delaney and Wayne Jordan
SCOPE LA (Strategic Concepts in Organizing & Policy Education)
UNITE HERE International Union
Barry and Paula Litt
Hodge, Hart & Schleifer, Inc.
J Hannah Kranzberg
Jeff and Karen Berman
Susan Adelman and Claudio Llanos
Arlene Holt Baker and Willie Baker
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Community Service Society of New York
City First Bank of DC
Harmon, Curran, Spielberg & Eisenberg, LLP
Jane Fox-Johnson and Mitchell Johnson
Janlori Goldman and Katherine Franke
Jim and Suzanne Gollin
Mary M. Lassen and Martin Liebowitz
Morris Family Foundation
Ryan Young and Matthew Layton
Sam Karp and Janie Tyre
Become A Sponsor
The Community Change Champion Awards is a time for activists, allies, organizations and community leaders to recognize the leadership of the honorees and celebrate the work of the Center for Community Change. Join the growing list of supporters for this event by sponsoring today. Questions? Please contact Julia Foster at 202-339-9360 or email@example.com.
$50,000 or more
Recognition of your sponsorship from the podium
Logo prominently featured on signage at event
Recognition in press materials
Benefits of sponsorship include:
Name featured at the event program and CCC’s annual report
Prominent listing as an event sponsor on our website
Up to 10 tickets to attend the event
2015 Event Photos
Honoree Rashad Robinson with event guests
A guest applauds the evening’s Change Champions
Guests enjoy the program
CCC board member Arlene Holt-Baker and Deepak Bhargava
Honorees Arnie Graf with Fran Godine, Bishop Douglas Miles, and Rev. David Brawley of the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation
Honoree Esther Lopez with UFCW members
Honorees Jonathan Heller, Connie Heller, Esther Lopez, Arnie Graf, Fran Godine, Rashad Robinson, Bishop Douglas Miles, Rev. David Brawley, Marc Perrone
Capitol Movement Inc. dancers performed a piece with an economic justice theme
Capitol Movement Inc. dancers perform “Imagine.”
Honorees Jonathan and Connie Heller with CCC board member Quinn Delaney (center)
Guests enjoy the reception
Spirit of the Awards
We celebrate the work that often goes unheralded, and the people and organizations that keep our vision for a just world alive. Too frequently, we focus only on the final outcome of a campaign instead of taking a moment to honor the often-unsung heroes behind the scenes. The Community Change Champion Awards were created to do just that: to recognize the people and organizations whose work is making progress toward social justice a reality. We honor work that reshapes the political landscape and challenges us to press forward toward a better world:
The organizers and leaders who inspire people to identify the changes they need and take action to fight for them.
The public servants who carry the voices of the people with them into the corridors of power.
The artists and thinkers who envision a more just future, and what it will take to get us all there.
The donors and philanthropists who help build a broader movement by connecting people with resources that help them fight for change.
Our partners in the labor movement, who share CCC’s commitment to rights and opportunity for hard-working people.
The organizations that bring people together and build their communities with grassroots power.
And the activists who demonstrate bravery, determination and resolve, even when the obstacles seem insurmountable and change seems out of reach.
These people and organizations nourish the social justice movement every day, in every community, in a myriad of ways. You’re invited to join us for our 12th annual Community Change Champions Awards to help us honor these heroes!