Human Rights Awards

Each year the Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission (BCHRAC) holds its annual Human Rights Awards Breakfast in December.

Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission Annual Awards

View the 2021 Awards Ceremony, Honoring the Wampanoag, Keepers of the Earth below:

2021 Awards Ceremony Zoom Chat Transcript

December 10, 2021 Zoom Meeting Chat Transcript:

08:28:54 From Jeanne Morrison to Everyone:

Please keep yourselves muted

09:09:32 From Chairwoman Andrews-Maltais to Everyone:

Kutaputush Councilman Perry.

09:10:06 From Mary-Jane Beach to Everyone:

Jonathan, thank you for sharing your powerful message.

09:12:18 From Melissa Ferretti, Chairwoman – Herring Pond Wampanoag to Everyone:

Yes, thank you for your wonderful message Councilman Perry!

09:12:58 From Jonathan Perry to Everyone:

Thank you Chairwoman Andrews-Maltais.

09:20:48 From Rosemary Shields to Everyone:

I want to thank all our governmental representatives for attending this Human Rights Awards presentation.  I especially want to thank you for  working on protecting Cape Cod Bay from the dumping of a million gallons of radioactive water from the Plymouth/Pilgrim Nuclear site.  Let us know what we can do to help.  Regards, Rosemary Shields

09:21:14 From Lawrence Brown to Everyone:

Love you, Bill.

09:22:16 From Kate Epperly to Everyone:

Kutaputush all!

09:23:40 From Rosemary Shields to Everyone:

Think globally.  ACT locally.

09:29:16 From Rosemary Shields to Everyone:

Go, Senator Moran and Common Start!

09:43:40 From Rosemary Shields to Everyone:

Patience and persistence!  Thank you, Rep. Peake.

09:43:53 From Sandra Faiman-Silva to Everyone:

Thank you to each of the Cape area delegation members for the kind words.

09:44:15 From Sarah Peake to Everyone:

Congratulations to all!

09:44:30 From Sen Susan Moran to Everyone:

Well deserved Sandra Faiman-Silva for your lifetime body of work on human rights of all kinds!

09:50:21 From Kate Epperly to Everyone:

John…hi from Bethesda, MD. You welcomed me so warmly to Cape Cod and more than once reminded me that “you had my back” when I was in leadership of the BCHRAC. Blessings for the Journey. Sending prayers!!!😘

09:52:32 From Kate Epperly to Everyone:

Bruce and I say “Kudos…well deserved Bill”. Miss you!

09:54:45 From Rosemary Shields to Everyone:

I totally miss Bill Mills on the pages of the Cape Cod Times.

09:55:31 From Lawrence Brown to Everyone:

With love, respect and gratitude to Bill MIlls.  For YEARS, he’s been a mentor for me.  Despite the “fake news” faction, Bill has always insisted on verifiable factuality.  He has been, in short, a model as well as a friend.

09:57:23 From Rosemary Shields to Everyone:

Lets continue to commit “good trouble.”

09:58:24 From Shiela Lyons to Everyone:

Congratulations to all awardees! Congratulations to the Human Rights  Commission for this inspiring event. Thank you to all for your advocacy and work in making Barnstable County a better community.

10:06:13 From Mary-Jane Beach to Everyone:

The program today is wonderful and such a tribute to the Cape. Yesterday I saw a map of US hate groups published by the Southern Poverty Law Center. There was not one on the Cape. I trust that all of the people and efforts honored toddy contribute to our progress. Thank you.

10:09:44 From Kate Epperly to Everyone:

Awesome program indeed!Thank goodness this program will be available on YouTube! I will share it with many friends!!! Thank you BHRAC, all program participants, Wampanoag unsung heroes and awardees all! Well done! Congratulations!

10:10:42 From Carol Sim to Everyone:

Congratulations to all the recipients, including all the youth!

10:18:22 From Susan Trask to Everyone:

Wonderful program. Congratulations to ALL the Awards Recipients, including the youth, our future!

10:18:45 From Susan Trask to Everyone:

Thank you Everyone!

10:21:25 From DariusCoombs to Everyone:

Thanks you all on behalf of Storam Coombs

10:22:04 From Jonathan Perry to Everyone:

Kutupatash Chairwoman, and thank you all.

10:22:25 From iPhone to Everyone:

Congratulations to All! So Proud!  Please reach out.  Steven.Xiarhos@mahouse.gov

10:22:30 From Melissa Ferretti, Chairwoman – Herring Pond Wampanoag to Everyone:

It has been an absolute honor to attend and see you all today.

10:22:41 From iPhone to Everyone:

Stay STRONG!!!

10:22:46 From Karen Watson-Etsell, Brewster to Everyone:

Thank you all for this morning’s excellent program.

10:23:57 From iPhone to Everyone:

I invite you to the People’s House in Boston

10:24:08 From Sallie Tighe to Everyone:

Thank you, thank  you!!!

10:24:18 From Healing Waters Jennifer to Everyone:

Kutâputunumuw !

10:24:24 From Kate Epperly to Everyone:

Beautiful! Miss you all!

10:24:35 From Carole Young-Kleinfeld to Everyone:

Powerful program.Thank you!

10:24:45 From Nelson Andrews to Everyone:

The acknowledgment and support to the Wampanoag Nation is greatly appreciated! Kutaputush

The Cornerstone Award is given to individuals recognized by their peers,community and associates as those who have fostered and supported human rights, concepts, and ideals.

The Rosenthal Community Champion Award was named after Irving Leopold Rosenthal – it is given to those in the public sector who are recognized by their peers, community and associates as individuals who have fostered and supported human rights, concepts, and ideals, particularly those who have worked to advance human rights and to eliminate discrimination.  Rosenthal Community Champion Award, while similar to the Cornerstone Award, is designated for those in the public sector (law enforcement, elected officials, etc.) particularly those who have worked to advance human rights and to eliminate discrimination against immigrants in Barnstable County. It was named after Irving Leopold Rosenthal who served as Barnstable County sheriff from 1922 to 1933.

The McDowell Award is given annually to a graduating member of the Human Rights Academy. Successful candidates will demonstrate initiative, leadership, and dedication to improving the human rights on Cape Cod and worldwide.   Please see the 2022 Malcolm McDowell Award Application below. The application deadline has been extended to June 30, 2022.

The Tim McCarthy Human Rights Champion Award recognizes a Human Rights Champion, an activist individual or organization with a Cape Cod connection, working effectively to promote human rights, as affirmed in the United Nations’ 1948 “Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” These includes: dignity, liberty, equality; spiritual, public and political freedoms of thought, opinion, religion, conscience and peaceful association; cultural rights including the right to healthcare and an adequate standard of living; establishment of these rights and the organizational structures to empower the individual. The Tim Fund also adds the following activist recognitions: environmental rights and LGBTQ rights. The award honors the late Outer Cape (and world) activist Tim McCarthy, who died in 2018 and is sponsored by The Tim Fund.

The Rosenthal Community Champion Award: 2021

The Rosenthal Community Champion Award is given to an individual in the public sector who has fostered and supported human rights, concepts, and ideals. This year’s recipient is John Reed. A former educator and head of the Cape Cod NAACP branch for 25 years, John Reed is a fierce human and civil rights advocate. He has worked collaboratively with community leaders and legislators for a half-century to identify and address the problems and needs of the underserved.

2021 Malcolm McDowell Award Recipients

June 9, 2021

The BCHRAC is pleased to announce the 2021 recipients of the Malcolm McDowell Award, who are Morgan James Peters II (Zyg), a senior at Mashpee Middle High School and Angelica Oshman (Alex), a junior at Sturgis Charter Public School East.

This award is named in honor of the late Malcolm McDowell, noted human rights activist and former member of the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission.  Successful candidates must demonstrate initiative, leadership, and dedication to improving the human rights atmosphere of Barnstable County and the wider world. This award is open to applicant students who have attended the HRA, either through participation with their school’s HRA Club or directly, including students who are home schooled.

Zyg’s interest in human rights was sparked when he was exposed to racist rhetoric and discrimination, as a child. His early expression focused on the sovereignty of his tribe, the Wampanoag Tribe, and on the issues of police violence against black and brown people. An accomplished musician, Zyg formed a project called the K-3-0 Collective, a youth hip-hop organization of black and brown artists supporting the development and presentation of their music, art, film, video, dance, and/or theater projects.  Zyg plans on attending Goddard College in the fall.

“His dedication as a musician has not only enriched the lives of a very diverse group of citizens and students, but also has served awareness on key social justice issues facing our society,” offered Celeste Reynolds, an AP educator at Zyg’s school. “Morgan just wants to see the world as a better place!”

For Angelica Oshman, human rights issues are second nature. As a second-grader, Alex raised funds for the crisis in Haiti. In 6th grade, she campaigned to ban plastic bags nationally. As is a member of the Sturgis East Human Rights Club and is the student representative to the Town of Falmouth’s Affirmative Action/Diversity Committee. Last fall, Alex gave an impressive presentation on the history of women’s voting rights at the BCHRAC sponsored Human Rights Academy.   Alex says “Human rights is something embedded in my way of life.  Everywhere I go, anything I do, I look for the most inclusive outcome of my interactions”.

Alex’s advisor, Eric Porteus, agrees with the assessment when he opined that,” Alex Oshman is a student who exemplifies the McDowell Award. Alex’s commitment to universal human rights is evident in everything Alex does. From a commitment to an in-depth understanding of the challenges facing people from all different creeds to understanding the complexities and challenges of navigating the modern world, Alex could not be more deserving of this award”.

In announcing the winners of the award, Susan Quinones, BCHRAC Coordinator, said, “We are so proud of Morgan Peters II and Angelica Oshman for their dedication to the ideals embodied in the Human Rights framework. As representatives of Barnstable County and of their generation, they give us hope for a world where human dignity and equality can flourish.”

2021 Malcolm McDowell Award Recipients

The Tim McCarthy Human Rights Champion Award: 2021

The Tim McCarthy Human Rights Champion Award is given to an individual or organization working to promote human rights. This year’s recipient is Sandra Faiman-Silva. Sandra authored The Courage to Connect about the welcoming, sexually diverse tourist enclave of Provincetown. She has long served on the board of Independence House, which provides an array of services for domestic and sexual abuse survivors throughout Cape Cod and is active in the Cape Cod chapter of Common Start Coalition, whose goal is to make high-quality early education and childcare affordable to all families.

2020 Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission Award Recipients

The Rosenthal Community Champion Award is given to individuals in the public sector who have fostered and supported human rights, concepts, and ideals. This year’s recipients are Sean O’Brien and Dierdre Arvidson.

Sean O’Brien who leads the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment and Barnstable County Regional Emergency Preparedness Committee, and Dierdre Arvidson, Public Health Nurse, will share this award for being instrumental in establishing test sites for the coronavirus and for arranging a flu vaccine clinic at the Barnstable County campus.

The Cornerstone Award is given to individuals who have fostered and supported human rights, concepts, and ideals. This year’s recipients are Larry and Atsuko Fish.

Larry and Atsuko Fish donated much needed funds to assist immigrant families on Cape Cod affected by the coronavirus. Over the years, the couple have been involved with numerous nonprofit organizations focusing on immigrants and youth.

The Tim McCarthy Human Rights Champion Award is given to an individual or organization working to promote human rights. This year’s recipients are Nauset H.S. Human Rights Group and Faculty Advisor Lisa Brown

The Nauset Regional High School Human Rights Group, and its long-time faculty advisor Lisa Brown, are honored for their many years of active engagement in human rights work and for spreading their message to other students through exhibits and presentations.

Unsung Heroes: Celebrating the Strength of our Communities

This special recognition is given to essential frontline workers and organizations who are dedicated to servicing communities on Cape Cod. Their work goes largely unnoticed but is central to our communal sense of well-being during the coronavirus pandemic. Awardees are: 

Champ Homes Inc.Adam Burnett, and staff – providing transitional housing to adults on Cape Cod who are homeless, shelter, education and supplies for keeping safe during this pandemic. 

Elder Services Cape Cod and Islands: Meals on Wheels volunteers – preparing meals for pick up at satellite drive thru stations and home delivery of food to elderly shut-ins during this pandemic.  Thank you to the additional group of volunteers who stepped in to relieve seniors and others with pre-existing conditions, ensuring the safety and well-being of the community.

AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, mobile outreach workers, drop-in center staff, case managers outreach specialists, volunteers, and all support staff– ASGCC primarily works with people who use drugs and people living with HIV/AIDS.  They save lives through prevention, education and life-sustaining services that address public health crises to build healthy communities across the Cape and Islands. We extend our thanks for their invaluable ongoing services throughout Cape Cod, especially through this pandemic.

YMCA, Children’s Crossing Child Care Program, all staff, childcare workers, and volunteers- have provided ongoing childcare and early development services for families of essential workers during this pandemic.

Community Health Center of Cape Cod, all staff- who have provided accessible and ongoing quality medical care and substance use services and behavioral health services throughout this pandemic helping to ensure safety and maintain the health of our community.

League of Women Voters Cape Cod and Falmouth, Voter Services committees members- tireless and creative volunteer efforts to ensure outreach and engagement of Cape Cod’s diverse communities, remote areas and vulnerable citizens including incarcerated individuals, providing voter education, registration, and support for maximum turnout.  We are especially grateful for the LWV support and education of safe voting procedures during this pandemic.

Cape Cod Commission US Census workers – tireless door to door outreach and engagement of Cape Cod’s diverse communities, remote areas, and vulnerable citizens during this pandemic to ensure everyone was counted.

Cape Cod USP mail carriers and office workers /FedEx, UPS drivers and warehouse workers- ongoing delivery of mail and essentials, ensuring uninterrupted mail services throughout this pandemic.

Duffy Health Center, all staff –The center focuses its work on people experiencing homelessness.  These populations are at increased risk due to COVID.  The staff have provided accessible and ongoing quality medical care and substance use services and behavioral health services throughout this pandemic helping to ensure safety and the health of our community.

Tara Vargas Wallace, Amplify POC Cape Cod, Executive Director and Founder -Tara is a volunteer community organizer, activist and civil rights advocate who has worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic ensuring equal rights for residents, leading BLM events, voter initiatives and founding Cape Cod’s first listing of people-of-color owned businesses.

Cape Cod Council of Churches/ Faith’s Family Kitchen, Jeni Wheeler, staff, and volunteers serving hot, nutritious meals feeding those less fortunate in our community a few times per week throughout this pandemic. Thank you for your AMAZING work!

Cape Cod Health Care, Walgreens, and CVS pharmacies employees – provided uninterrupted essential goods, health supplies and medicines to the community while ensuring the safety of the public throughout this pandemic.

Barnstable Ally Group and founder Krissie Williams – dedicated to the uplifting of marginalized people and assisting in the battle against overt racism and microaggression. They educate and empower allies that will change the world and have continued their community engagement events through this pandemic.

Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod, Cape Cod Health Care staff (including nurses, licensed therapists, hospice workers and health care aides) – continued to provide quality services of home therapy, hospice, and nursing care for the most vulnerable residents of cape cod ensuring their recovery, and well-being throughout this pandemic.

The Woodlands at Pleasant Bay Assisted Living residence staff in Brewster (including all staff)- the amazing, dedicated workers have worked hard to ensure quality, dignified care in a safe and respectful environment. They have been very dedicated to the residents throughout this pandemic.

Pleasant Bay Skilled Nursing & Rehab staff-the amazing, dedicated workers have worked hard to ensure quality, dignified care in a safe and respectful environment. They have been very dedicated to the residents throughout this pandemic.

Airport Taxi Medical transport drivers, Medical transportation services- provided uninterrupted transportation services for the public.  Especially transporting patients with special medical needs, elders, community members with substance abuse and disabilities throughout this pandemic. Also offering support to the Emergency Medical Services for Cape Cod residents throughout this pandemic and transpiring people to drive-through COVID-19 testing sites.

Stop and Shop, Shaw’s, Trader Joe’s and local markets, grocery workers- provided uninterrupted services to ensure access to food and provisions throughout this pandemic. Often going above and beyond regular duties and working overtime stocking shelves, managing high volumes of shoppers while implementing safety guidelines and providing physical assistance to elderly and needy customers.

Staff of Independence House – provides free and confidential services and widespread programs for children and adults who are survivors of or impacted by domestic or sexual violence.  Independence House has continually responded to increased domestic and sexual violence throughout this pandemic providing safety options, counseling, education, and awareness about prevention.

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