Human Rights Awards to Be Presented May 17


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
publicaffairs@fairfaxcounty.gov

April 12, 2007

Human Rights Awards to Be Presented May 17

Banquet Reservations Required by May 4

The Fairfax County Human Rights Commission will present its 29th annual Human Rights Awards at a banquet on Thursday, May 17, at 6:30 p.m. at Greenspring Village, 7400 Spring Village Drive, Springfield. The guest speaker will be Michael Anthony Mason, an executive assistant director for the FBI and one of its highest ranking African-American agents.

To make a reservation and pay for tickets, or for more information about the banquet, call the Human Rights Commission at 703-324-2953, TTY 703-324-2900. Reservations and advanced payment are required by Friday, May 4. Tickets are $50 per person.

The awards recognize individuals, nonprofits or businesses that demonstrate accomplishments in eliminating discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, age or disability in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, private education and credit.

The 2006 award winners are:

Frank Palmer — Individual Category
Palmer has raised millions of dollars for needy and at-risk county residents and encouraged others to assist people in need, especially the homeless. Because of his efforts — all as a volunteer — he has equipped those who need help with skills and motivation to secure their own human rights and human dignity.

Greenspring Village Volunteer Program — Business Category
This retirement community operates a volunteer program that teaches English as a second language, engages high school students, and reaches out to people with disabilities. Volunteers for their ESL program spent 2,250 hours teaching English last year. More than 175 people have benefited from this program, with more than 50 students earning certificates last year. Every year, Greenspring also engages 45 to 50 high school students, including students with disabilities, in volunteer activities at the community. Volunteers also provide pet therapy for MVLE, a local organization that works with adults with disabilities.

Northern Virginia Long-Term Care Volunteer Ombudsman Program — Organization Category
Established in 1985, the program acts as the ombudsman for the elderly and people with disabilities who receive long-term care. The program’s 72 volunteer ombudsmen make weekly visits to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, ensuring that residents are receiving the highest quality of care, assisting them to advocate for themselves, and mediating and resolving complaints with these facilities. Volunteers made 3,323 visits, contributed 7,151 hours and handled 419 complaints during 2005.

Rolling Productions Inc. — Virginia Peters Human Rights Award
This nonprofit company produces videos to increase awareness, promote sensitivity and educate people about disability issues. For example, the company wrote and directed a film to educate the public about affordable, accessible housing for wheelchair users in Northern Virginia. Rolling Productions also was instrumental in creating CHOICE — the Coalition for Housing Opportunities in the Community for Everyone — a nonprofit dedicated to increasing housing options for people with disabilities.

The Human Rights Commission was established in 1974 by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to eliminate discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, age or disability in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, private education and credit. 

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For more news and information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news.

Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. To request this information in an alternate format, call the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 711.

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