UMass Boston Honors Local and Global Leaders in Inclusion (MA UCEDD/LEND)

January 7, 2016

On December 3, the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development at the University of Massachusetts Boston, hosted its second annual Beacon for Global Inclusion Awards, which honors an individual and an organization making notable contributions to the field of inclusion.

The 2015 award ceremony was held at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate, at the institute's model replica of the U.S. Senate Chamber. This year's awards were held in conjunction with SGISD's first major public event, the Building Inclusive Communities: From Neighborhoods to Nations global conference (BIC), which took place Dec. 3-4.

The individual award was presented to nominee Dorothy Stoneman, Founder and CEO of YouthBuild which takes low-income youth and provides them with the tools and support to rebuild their own communities, and thus, their own lives. "I had decided that the most important immediate thing I could do in the world was mobilize teenagers to become a positive force in their communities," said Stoneman. Since 1994, over 140,000 young people have built 30,000 units of affordable housing in over 260 local communities and operates through its robust network of 260 urban and rural YouthBuild programs in 46 states.

Organizational nominee was Partners In Health, whose mantra is, "We go. We make house calls. We build health systems. We stay". PIH was founded in 1987 and works to care for patients in their own communities, working in partnership with local government and organizations to help strengthen and improve health systems world-wide. In the words of PIH founder, Dr. Paul Farmer, "The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world."

The awards ceremony also offered a tour of the EMK Institute and displayed the work of the school and facts and figures on inclusion projected along the institute's walls. A special presentation was given following the awards, with an abbreviated simulation on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was created by SGISD's own students and faculty. Attendees got to vote on whether the CRPD should be passed by congress, and resulted in a majority vote of 46 to 2.

The 2014 Beacon for Global Inclusion award recipients were Oxfam America (organization) and Hubie Jones (individual).

For more information on the awards, or the BIC conference, including presenter material, please visit www.buildinginclusion.org or email sgisd@umb.edu.

Picture caption: UMass Boston leadership poses with leaders in inclusion From left to right: Dean William Kiernan; Awardee Dorothy Stoneman of YouthBuild; Chancellor J. Keith Motley; Dr. Gary Gottlieb, accepting for awardee Partners In Health; civic activist and 2014 awardee, Hubie Jones.