Rosecarrie Brooks was born in the Netherlands and migrated to the U.S. when she was 6 years old. As an immigrant and the daughter of Holocaust survivors, she learned early on about the importance of community and the impact of helping others. Her parents worked very hard establishing themselves in the retail clothing business, but they always found time to participate in local civic and philanthropic organizations – which ultimately influenced Rosecarrie’s own path in philanthropic endeavors.

Rosecarrie was a dental hygienist early in her career, working in private practice and at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital, as well as on teaching staff at USC, UCLA, and Cerritos College. Among her duties at the hospital was teaching hygiene students how to work with patients with disabilities.

One of Rosecarrie’s early leadership roles was her term as chapter president of the B’nai Brith Girls in Downey, among other positions in the organization. She would go on to become increasingly active in her community as an adult, assuming leadership roles at the Alpert Jewish Community Center, including serving as board president of the Alpert Jewish Community Center from 1997 -1999. She currently serves on the Board of the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish Long Beach, where she is the current Chair of the Foundation Investment Committee. Next year, she and her husband Alan will celebrate the 25th year of a scholarship fund they founded that supports 100 students in Vietnam annually. Rosecarrie is a longtime Board Member at CCEJ, where she served as Board Chair from 2017-2020. In her philanthropic and community engagement efforts, Rosecarrie has championed inclusion, equity, and justice, and has been an ardent supporter of CCEJ’s programs and mission to eliminate bias, bigotry, and racism. Rosecarrie lives in Long Beach with her husband, Alan, and has two daughters, a son in law, and three grandsons.

Gail Meredith has been a resident of Long Beach since 1983. She has been an advocate for diversity, equality, and inclusion since childhood. Growing up in Washington DC, being exposed to various educational environments and experiencing numerous corporate cultures has provided her an immense appreciation for the need for cultural equality. One of Gail’s early endeavors was serving as President of the Youth Council at the National Council of Christians and Jews (NCCJ), CCEJ’s precursor.

Gail has supported various organizations as a board member, including the Seal Beach Animal Care Center, Dramatic Allied Arts Guild, Assistance League of Long Beach, Grassroots Wellness Foundation, CSULB Innovation Challenge, and Musical Theatre West, where she serves as Chair of the Cultural Equity and Inclusion Committee. During her board engagements, Gail has been a driving force to ensure inclusion has been integrated and prioritized in each organization’s mission.

During her career leadership positions with Boeing and Rockwell, Gail strove to ensure diversity and equality were present in her information technology teams. She is a creative thinker, always looking for the best means to accomplish the task at hand without compromising the organization’s interests. In 2007, she received special recognition at the National Women of Color Technology Conference.

Gail is now retired and engaged in her volunteer work. She also enjoys raising her Havanese dogs and cats, reading, traveling (especially cruising), walking, musical theater, and mentoring. Gail is happily married to Dean Garrison. She has three stepchildren and four grandchildren.

Rodney Jones is an LBUSD Teacher at Colin Powell Academy for Success. He currently teaches Project Lead the Way App Creator/Science of Technology and Introduction to Technology. He is also the Male Leadership Coordinator at Colin Powell Academy, a role that has given him an opportunity to act as a role model for the young men on campus. His innovative commitment to promoting college and career readiness incorporates personal goal setting and leadership skills. As a result, he has seen his most resistant students be transformed into diligent scholars.

Rodney encourages his students to understand the importance of self-worth and connection to the community. His interpersonal skills and the ability to connect with diverse groups has allowed Rodney to produce results and facilitate positive change.

In 1965, the Artesia, Bloomfield, and Carmenita School Districts unified and became known as the ABC Unified School District. The community served by ABC Unified School District includes the cities of Artesia, Cerritos, Hawaiian Gardens, as well as portions of Lakewood, Long Beach, and Norwalk. The ethnically and economically diverse community is strongly supportive of their ABC schools.

The ABC Unified School District is known throughout California as a leader in educational planning and innovation. The District has received county, state, and national recognition for outstanding programs in counseling, alternative education, staff development, and labor relations. Approximately 85 percent of the graduating students go on to higher education.

The ABC Unified School District is governed by a seven member Board of Education and includes nineteen elementary schools, five middle schools, three comprehensive high schools, a college prep 7-12 school, a continuation high school, infant/children centers, extended-day care, and adult school. The diverse ethnicity of the community is reflected in the K-12 population which is American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian, African American, Filipino, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, Portuguese, and White.

The Building Bridges Award will be accepted by Dr. Crechena Wise, Director of Secondary Schools, on behalf of ABC Unified School District.

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Gene Lentzner Nomination Application

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1) Significant contributions to the Greater Los Angeles or Long Beach Community in the area of social justice/human relations
2) How they promote respect and justice among all people regardless of differences in race, religion, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity
3) How they demonstrate commitment to social justice and human relations by way of service (if it’s at work, then above and beyond their paid scope of work)
4) Ways they foster inter-group, inter-faith cooperation
5) How they are connected to the Greater Los Angeles or Long Beach area

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