In 2008, I was honored to be named as an Ambassador of Peace by the Violence Prevention Coalition of Orange County. These awards are given each year to “honor leaders in the field of violence prevention for their outstanding contributions and for their commitment to preventing and reducing violence in our communities.” I was honored for the work I was doing at the Anti-Defamation League in anti-bullying programs and challenging stereotypes. Even though fighting hate has become my part-time job now, I love the fact that I am still connected to this event as the photographer! The people they honor each year are simply amazing and the event is always fun and inspiring. To read more about the event in general, click here.
This year’s honorees were:
Dr. Laura Mosqueda, who works to fight elder abuse; Men’s Task Force, a collaboration of men taking a stand against domestic violence; Laurie Zagon, who is the founder and Executive Director of Art & Creativity for Healing, Inc., where creating art is therapy.
Rusty Kennedy, the Executive Director of the Orange County Human Relations Commission since its inception in 1981; Bill Beacham, the Executive Director of the Center for Drug-Free Communities and the founder of Peer Assistance Leadership Camps, among other activities to help youth resist becoming involved with drugs; and Dr. Jeffrey Kottler, a professor in the Counseling Department at Cal State Fullerton, an author, and the founder of Nepali Girl’s Foundation, which provides scholarships to girls in Nepal to keep them in school instead of sold into sex slavery.
Wow, huh? It’s hard to attend the event and not come away inspired!
The venue, the Grand Newport Plaza Turnip Rose, is gorgeous, as are the event trappings:
Below are the people who head up the event and the VPCOC: the outgoing chairs, Debbie and Dallas Stout; the incoming chair, Danielle Nava; the Program Manager, Christine Laehle; and the event emcee, Don Laffoon.
Congratulations to the 2011 Ambassadors of Peace! Keep fighting the good fight. 🙂