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Malcolm McDowell Award for Human Rights Activism

Malcolm McDowell Award for Human Rights Activism was presented by the Human Rights Commission to Miriam Massaad of Harwich on May 25th to honor her six years of leadership and advocacy as a member of the Human Rights Academy.

mcdowell award 2016
featured l-r: Roland Bessette, Chair of Barnstable County Human Rights Commission; Miriam Massaad, Kathy McDowell, widow of Malcolm McDowell, former Human Rights Commissioner

As an immigrant from Lebanon in 2001, Miriam experienced first-hand the anti-Arab prejudice of the time.  Despite that, she has remained an optimistic advocate for both local and global human rights.  When Harwich High School and Chatham High School were slated to become Monomoy Regional High School, Miriam was instrumental in leading exercises, gatherings, and activities to help create a single community from these two very different schools.  She founded the middle school human rights club and has been co-president of the high school human rights club for three years.  She has traveled to Boston and Washington to educate and lobby legislators about genocide.  Following graduation, she heads to Paris to volunteer in a program aiding refugees.  Her career goal is to become a biomedical engineer and “create easy access for people in underdeveloped countries to get their needed vaccines, surgeries, and treatment for disease.”

Miriam is the second Monomoy student to earn the McDowell Award.  Last year, Jade Miller received the honor for her years of work with Best Buddies and leading a Special Olympics event for two years.  I hope Harwich is as proud of these young women as is the Human Rights Commission