Social Justice Institute
2013 Social Justice Superhero award winners: BONNIE SORENSON & DAN WULZ
Bonnie Sorenson has worked tirelessly to lessen the impact of health disparities for children, women, and men since arriving in Clark County over ten years ago. Regardless of income, race/ethnicity, or other social discriminators, children get vaccinated, women receive cervical cancer screenings and family planning services, and men are eligible for STD/HIV/AIDS/TB screenings. In her role as the Southern Nevada Health District Director of Clinic and Nursing Services, Ms. Sorenson is responsible for numerous grants and contracts such as the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) home visiting program which brings together young first-time pregnant women with public health nurses to work on personal solutions for ensuring the birth of a healthy baby and family economic security. Additionally, Ms. Sorenson has conceptualized a unique approach to preventing teen pregnancy and secured funds to target adolescent boys rather than girls. For those who have had the good fortune to know Bonnie, her calm demeanor, intellectual capacity, and sincere desire that every person in our community has the opportunity to be healthy is an inspiration.
Dan Wulz has been arguably the number one advocate in Nevada representing consumers against lenders, car dealers, scam artists, and big business for the past 19 years. He is currently the Deputy Director of the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and has numerous court victories, legislative accomplishments and organizational achievements. In the 2013 legislative session, Dan spearheaded the defeat or substantial weakening of several bills which would have eroded consumer rights. As but three examples, borrowers from almost all high interest lenders will not face an extra $25/month in late fees, applicants for auto title loans will not be eligible for amounts they clearly cannot afford to repay, and consumers falling behind on car payments should not face the use of "vehicle interruption devices." Dan is currently litigating a major class action against a payday lender in Nevada Supreme Court. He has a lifetime of achievement and is as on top of his game today as he has ever been.
2012 Social Justice Superhero award winners: Rosa Molina & Dr. Susan Chandler
Rosa Molina has made it her life's mission to be an advocate for recent immigrants for many years, first with Nevada Hispanic Services (NHS) and now with the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN). She has labored quietly to operate an immigration program that handles the bulk of the community's caseload and which handles all of the low- and no-cost deportation cases. This is especially remarkable given the recent increase in immigration enforcement which has increased the number of court cases compared to just a few years ago. It is because of her dedication that these vital services will survive the recent demise of NHS and continue in new offices under the umbrella of PLAN.
Dr. Susan Chandler
Professor Chandler teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in social welfare policy, structural oppression, women's narratives, and community organizing. Her most recently published book, "Casino Women: Courage in Unexpected Places," takes an in-depth look into the lives of women who work in the casinos of Nevada and their strength to unionize in the face of corporate oppression. Her research interests include casino women in the context of economic globalization, the condition of low wage workers particularly in Nevada, social welfare history including especially its race, gender, and class dimensions, and social workers' relationship to issues of war and peace. Professor Chandler challenges her students to understand how oppression is historically ingrained into our society, as well as how it shapes the lives and experiences of individuals. She has encouraged hundreds of future social workers to become informed community leaders.
2011 Social Justice Superhero award winners: Freida Carbery and Kari Ramos.
Freida transformed the Dayton Food Pantry into a warm, welcoming spot for volunteers and participants, and turned it in to a place where the entire community can take "ownership" of their community food pantry through volunteer work, organizing fundraisers, offering storage in their business freezers, offering distribution sites, etc. Now every school in Dayton, most clubs, numerous businesses, hundreds of individuals of all ages and abilities, are involved in making the food pantry work. This has allowed people to receive emergency food whenever they need it Mon-Fri, and to receive more fresh produce. It has also allowed people to gain new job skills and to maintain/create connections to other people. The food pantry is truly what its motto declares: "Freely we share." If you would like to help contribute to Freida's cause, you can contact her at FreedaCA@aol.com
Please visit the website Healthy Communities Coalition to learn more about the collaboration of nearly one-hundred groups and hundreds of community volunteers that agree to work together so that all members of our communities in Lyon, Storey, and Mineral have opportunities to thrive.
Kari exemplifies a Social Justice Super Hero with her constant and unwavering commitment to social justice. Not only does Kari perform duties associated with her position as Outreach Coordinator by traveling the state and nation educating about sexual violence awareness and prevention, but she is also a volunteer for one of the local domestic violence program and the local sexual assault advocacy program. Kari is also a mentor for young girls and recently shaved her head (her hair was at least 20 inches long) in support of a local children's cancer charity. Kari is a positive, empowering, and effective person who makes our community, state, and country and better place. She LIVES social justice and is a Social Justice Super Warrior Princess! If you would like to contribute to her cause, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence to learn more about this organization that enhances the abilities of service providers through training, education, public policy, networking and technical assistance while promoting sexual violence awareness throughout the state. For more information, call (775) 355-2220
2011 Winners Kari Ramos & Freida Carbery
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