2007 Press Release

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CONTACT: Marsha Gordon, LCG Communications | 718.853.5568 | marshag [at] lcgcommunications.com



Four past recipients and eight organizations will receive more than three-quarters of a million dollars


November 1, 2007

This year, the Union Square Awards will mark its tenth anniversary by honoring eight important, emerging community organizations in New York City and by adding a “Special Achievement Award” to recognize four past recipient organizations. The awards ceremony itself will take place on December 8th at Manhattan’s Riverside Church.

Special Achievement Awards of $100,000 each will go to four past awardees for their outstanding accomplishments. In addition, eight emerging organizations will each receive the prestigious $50,000 Union Square Award in recognition of their exceptional work addressing critical issues that are otherwise overlooked, neglected or inadequately addressed. This year’s awardees work on a range of social justice concerns and span across neighborhoods from Brooklyn’s Sunset Park to the South Bronx.

Union Square Award recipients are widely recognized locally and nationally as visionaries and leaders. They engage new communities in public discourse, change public policy, and create innovative models of service.

"We wanted to make this, our tenth year, a particularly unique and uplifting one," said Union Square Awards Executive Director Iris Morales. "So, we decided to add the 'special achievement award' for past Union Square Award recipients who have sustained themselves and expanded their work despite minimal resources. Their work is recognized nationally and internationally for revitalizing local neighborhoods and making significant and lasting contributions to the people of our City," she continued.

The Union Square Awards realize the dream of an anonymous donor to bring attention to grassroots activists taking action to improve people’s lives and create social change. The Awards are named after the park on 14th Street where New Yorkers have organized and spoken out about major social issues since the nineteenth century. Since its inception in 1998, the Union Square Awards has granted more than $10 million to 160 organizations that have not yet received either substantial funding or public accolade.


A $100,000 award toward general operating support will be made to four past Union Square Award recipients for their outstanding achievement in the following areas:

Developing Youth Leaders

The Brotherhood/Sister Sol (BSS) is a Harlem-based organization that offers educational and organizing programs to develop Black and Latino youth as critical thinkers and community leaders. 2000 Union Square Award recipient.

Creating Innovative Models

Based in Queens, Hour Children is a multi-faceted family services provider for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated mothers and their children that offers a range of supportive services both in prison and in the community. 2001 Union Square Award recipient.

Mobilizing Local Communities

Make the Road New York promotes economic justice, equity and opportunity through community and electoral organizing, strategic policy advocacy, leadership development, education, and legal and support services. 1999 Union Square Award recipient.

Building Leadership for Community Development

Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, a center for urban ministry located in the Bronx River Soundview/Bruckner neighborhoods, develops the leadership of young people and local residents so they may engage in rebuilding their communities.1998 Union Square Award recipient.


Eight grassroots organizations will receive the $50,000 Union Square Award.

The Arab American Association of New York provides a range of health and educational programs, social services and cultural activities for Arab immigrant families living in Brooklyn. Co-Founding Members, Basemah Atweh, Dr. Ahmad Jaber, Hicham El-Anmati & Suhad Kazma.

Grassroots Artist Movement (G.A.ME) is a membership organization providing leadership development and other programs for Black and Latino youth in the Bronx. Co-Founders, Omowale Adewale, Mutulu Olugbala, Neneh Jalloh-Adewale & Francis Peña.

In the Spirit of the Children works with young people who have lived in New York City’s foster care system providing programs to help them successfully transition into adulthood and to prevent them from becoming or remaining homeless. Founder & Director, E.P. Jones.

The Interfaith Coalition of Advocates for Reentry and Employment (ICARE) works to restore the rights of the formerly incarcerated. It conducts educational workshops, seeks legislative changes, and assists in ministry development. Founder & Director, Rima Vesely-Flad,

La Union de la Comunidad Latina is a member-directed community organization that mobilizes and builds leadership among Latino immigrants in Sunset Park to improve living and working conditions. Co-Founding Members, Artemio Guerra, Leticia Alanis, Elizabeth Mendoza & Gerardo Cacique.

Mentoring in Medicine aims to increase diversity in the health field and address health care disparities by providing opportunities and hands-on experience to low-income students of color. Co-founders, Dr. Lynn Holden, Dr. Yvette Calderon & Dr. Jocelyn Freeman-Garrick.

Queens Congregations United for Action is committed to building a faith-based organization that unites the community to achieve social justice through organizing. Co-Founders, Pastor Bruce Ferguson & Reverend Dr. Lancelot Waldron.

The Red Hook Initiative works “to confront and affect the consequences of intergenerational poverty by providing support in the areas of education, employment, health and community development.” Founder & Director, Jill Eisenhard.


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