Social Justice Awards
The City of Holland Human Relations Commission's annual Social Justice Awards recognize individuals and organizations who exemplify the virtues of social justice by promoting equal opportunity and equal access for all residents in the areas of Housing, Education, Employment, and Government/Community Relations. The Social Justice Awards also has a Youth category for students age 13-19; winners in this category are determined by the Holland Youth Advisory Council (HYAC).
"These awards recognize individuals and organizations that are moving the needle toward removing barriers, providing opportunities and access for all residents. Now more than ever we are called to work together for the greater good of our world. We must work diligently without rest to address inequity and prejudice in our world."
- Dave Hoekstra, Holland City Council Member and liaison to the Human Relations Commission
The 2021 Social Justice Award Recipients
YOUTH SOCIAL JUSTICE AWARD: Mariah Stewart for serving as a role model for youth in our community by championing the rights of women and minorities and serving as a tutor for younger students and a peer mentor at West Ottawa High School.
EMPLOYMENT: Request Foods for opening their doors to the diversity in our community by providing 75 immigrant workers with housing and transportation and by generously donating their products to local nonprofits and families in need.
EDUCATION: Mary and Dean De Ridder for championing the acceptance and civil rights of the LGBTQ+ community and supporting their families.
GOVERNMENT/COMMUNITY RELATIONS: Tito Venegas, co-pastor at Intersection Ministries, for passion and leadership in strengthening the Holland community by initiating programs that address food scarcity, affordable housing, and language education.
HOUSING: Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity and Jubilee Ministries for their spirit of collaboration to create long term, affordable housing options for families enabling them to thrive in all aspects of the community.
HEALTH SERVICES: Dr. Margret Duncan of the Holland Community Health Center for teaching patients of all backgrounds how to provide healthy, safe and nurturing homes for their children through all stages of growth.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Herb Weller for dedicating his life to building a culture of learning and connection between the City of Holland and the wider world.