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Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission Announces Winner of Malcolm McDowell Award

Amanda DaCruz, graduating senior from Sturgis Charter Public School (East), has been named as the recipient of the Annual Malcolm McDowell Award 2020.

Media Contact:  Susan Quinones, Barnstable County Human Rights Coordinator
(508) 375-6611


(Barnstable, MA – May 8, 2020) – The Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission (HRAC) has named Amanda DaCruz, a graduating senior from Sturgis Charter Public School (East), as the recipient of the Annual Malcolm McDowell Award.  The award, named after human rights activist and former BCHRAC member Malcolm McDowell, comes with a $500 gift certificate.

Amanda DaCruz was selected as the recipient of the 2020 award because of her demonstrated leadership, initiative, and dedication to improving the human rights in Barnstable County.  Amanda will be attending Roger Williams University in Rhode Island this fall, where she plans on combining her interests in math, art, and physics to pursue a career in architecture.

[su_quote]Kathleen McDowell, widow of Malcolm McDowell, said, “Congratulations Amanda.  I am truly impressed and excited to hear about your involvement with the Human Rights Academy.  I wish you every success at Roger Williams University and have no doubt that you will continue to be an advocate, activist, and a leader in your community.[/su_quote]

Mark Aldo, advisor of the East Sturgis Human Rights Club, said, “Amanda’s passion and dedication to human rights are unparalleled. I have not seen a student so dedicated to human rights in my years at Sturgis. Amanda’s empathy is beyond her years. When you couple this with her passion, dedication, and strong communication skills, you get a true community leader.”

In announcing the award, Alan Milsted, Chair of the HRAC said, “We congratulate Amanda DaCruz as the recipient of this year’s Malcolm McDowell Award! She is young black woman, whose passion, commitment, courage, and leadership in the Sturgis Charter Public School community has challenged her peers and the school’s leadership to understand and respond positively to a range of human rights issues. Amanda is the latest young person whose contributions to the BCHRAC’s Human Rights Academy have been recognized as exceptional.  We wish her well and look forward to hearing of her future accomplishments.”

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ABOUT THE BARNSTABLE COUNTY HUMAN RIGHTS ADVISORY COMMISSION: The mission of the Human Rights Advisory Commission is to promote equal opportunity for all persons of Barnstable County regardless of race, color, religious creed, national origin, gender, age, ancestry, sexual or affectional preference marital, family or military status, source of income, neighborhood or disability, where unlawful discrimination exists in housing, employment, education, public accommodations, town or county services, insurance, banking, credit and health care.  Learn more at