Due to the ongoing restrictions on social gatherings because of coronavirus, CCEJ has made the difficult, but necessary, decision to cancel our 2020 Humanitarian Awards Dinner.  

Please plan to join us in May 2021 to recognize our honorees!  

Our annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner celebrates the contributions of community members who have made significant contributions toward improving the status of humankind and display a continued commitment to human relations, inter-group cooperation and social justice for all people.

CCEJ will be honoring Wini Carter, Annette Kashiwabara, and Servando & Cindy Orozco. The Building Bridges Award will be presented to the Rudolph J. and Daphne A. Munzer Foundation, and the Henry Youth Meyer Award honoree will be Lupe Granados. We are excited to welcome Regina Cash & Justin Rudd as our event co-chairs and emcees for the dinner program.

Winifred Carter is a longtime Long Beach resident who has been honored by numerous local groups and organizations for her service to the community. Born in 1919, in Massachusetts, Wini’s father died when she was 5, and her mother died shortly after. She and her seven siblings shuttled between foster homes. Wini worked as a civilian secretary for the military, and later worked for United Airlines. At the age 78, Wini earned her bachelor’s in English.She has served as a reserve police officer, and volunteered for Meals on Wheels, St. Mary Hospital, and North Long Beach neighborhood associations and other groups.

Wini also helped create a scholarship program for the Black Police Officers Organization, and was appointed to the Senior Citizen Advisory Commission in 2014. Wini is the namesake of the St. Luke’s Wini Williams Carter Community Service Scholarship. Wini was named a 1998 Senior of the Year at Long Beach City College, and has also been honored by Meals on Wheels, Long Beach NAACP, the Long Beach Senior Police Partners and was the honorary chair of the Long Beach Veteran’s Day Parade in 2017.

Annette Kashiwabara is a third generation Japanese American (Sansei). Her grandparents immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s from Japan. Despite the adversities that Annette’s family went through during World War II, they provided a life that encouraged education, working hard, volunteering, and treating everyone with respect and understanding.

Growing up in Penryn, California, Annette transferred from Sierra Community College  to California State University, Long Beach, where she received her Bachelor of Science in nursing. She began her nursing career at Long Beach Community Hospital and shortly after sought her Master of Science in nursing from University of California, Los Angeles.

Working closely with the Long Beach Community Hospital Foundation, she found she enjoyed working with donors and completed a certificate program at University of California, Irvine in fund development. Since that time, Annette has continued to work for Long Beach nonprofits, including Long Beach Day Nursery, National Conference for Christians and Jews (now CCEJ), Assistance League of Long Beach, where she currently serves as Executive Director.

Servando Orozco was born in Michoacán, Mexico, and like many other immigrants began his life in the United States full of hopes and dreams.

He and Cindy met locally and have been married for 22 years, and are the proud parents of three teenage children.

Servando is the CEO and Founder and Cindy is the General Manager of Orozco’s Auto Service, with five leading automotive shops and over 40 employees. Recently, the business has become a franchise operation.

Servando and Cindy are committed to giving back to the local community. They belong to the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association and generously support local organizations including the YMCA, Long Beach Rescue Mission and Lydia House, Lions, Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs.

The Rudolph J. and Daphne A. Munzer Foundation’s mission is to strengthen community, family and individuals through effective and focused philanthropy. Established in 1996 by Rudolph and Daphne Munzer, the Foundation has been fortunate to be a part of the giving landscape of Long Beach since its inception.

Rudolph and Daphne believed that education and their Catholic religion was paramount in their philanthropic pursuits, which are rooted in the foundation’s guiding values: Serving Where Needed Most, Children and Youth, Local Communities, Family, Engagement, Effectiveness, and Humility.

The Munzer Foundation focuses its grantmaking at the community level, primarily in Long Beach, CA, to honor its family roots and the community where the Foundation was established. The Foundation also supports select organizations in communities where the Munzer family lives and works.
Within each of the communities it serves, the Foundations strives to achieve the greatest impact by concentrating its resources to support children, families, and neighborhoods of highest needs.

Since 2017, the Foundation’s generous support has helped to expand CCEJ’s Conscious Classrooms anti-bias education program, reaching more than 2,000 middle and high school students.

Lupe Granados is 18 years old and goes to El Rancho High school. When she was a young teen at the beginning of high school, she was not interested in political issues or involved much in social justice.

After she attended CCEJ Building Bridges camp, Lupe’s interest in advocacy grew. Lupe was enlightened with history that she was never taught in school. She became more invested in social justice to the point where she could create and join clubs in her school regarding social advocacy. Lupe has been a youth leader for CCEJ two years, where she leads dialogues for her peers about racial and gender justice.

From creating new friendships to expanding her knowledge, CCEJ has helped Lupe become the advocate that she is today. Next year she hopes to continue her education at a Cal State, and she plans to pursue a career in film production. Her lifelong dream is to produce films that accurately represent her culture. As she is leaving high school and embarking on a new journey in her life, Lupe hopes to further her work with CCEJ in the future.

A Recap of the 56th Annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner

On May 16, 2019, more than 300 guests attended our 56th Annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner to honor Dr. Jane Close Conoley, Rev. Dr. Phyllis Hayes-Reams, and Kevin &  Jennifer Peterson. The honorees were recognized with CCEJ’s 2019 Humanitarian Award for dedicating their lives and careers to equality and justice through service. This year’s Henry Meyer Youth Award was awarded to Taizin Barnhardt, an accomplished youth leader in CCEJ’s Building Bridges for Youth program. CCEJ also recognized Performance Plus Tire with the Building Bridges Award in appreciation for their dedication to the betterment of the community through philanthropic giving and employee engagement in community service. CCEJ Building Bridges alumna Anel Parra shared her story and the impact of CCEJ values on her life and family (video link here).  Event co-chairs Wayne Slavitt and Vivian Malauulu emceed a memorable evening!

Taizin Barnhardt – speech link here“Prior to being a volunteer with CCEJ, I was extroverted. But not in the way I am now. My extroversion now includes activism and support. I most likely would not be as keen to help others without the lessons taught to me not through the curriculum alone of Building Bridges, but the people in it. CCEJ has pushed me to find more in myself than I knew to be possible, and with or without knowing it has given me the power, knowledge, and resource to fight for what I believe in.”

Hank & Joyce Feldman, Performance Plus Tire speech link here “We made it one of our goals to celebrate the diversity of Long Beach by making sure that our philanthropy reaches all areas of the community. This is why CCEJ is especially important to us. We have strived not only to do everything we can as a company, but we hope we have served as a model for other businesses to follow our lead… Thank you to CCEJ for leading the way in our community to promote equality and justice.”

Rev. Dr. Phyllis Hayes-Reams – speech link here “One of the main thrusts of CCEJ that I hold closest to my heart is community…because it really is about community. It’s about making those who may feel invisible know they matter and they are visible. And I think that’s what really pushes me. I know how it feels to struggle at times over the journey with self-confidence and wondering if you’re good enough…And I think service allows me to keep my feet on the ground, to keep me connected to those who need.”

Kevin & Jennifer Peterson – speech link here “Jennifer and I both strongly believe that empowering behaviors such as kindness, positivity, openness and trust will spread when shared with others. We both derive great satisfaction in seeing our community improve, especially when we can have a small part in that… We want to see [Long Beach] thrive for generations to come. With so many different cultures and races in Long Beach, we should celebrate our diversity and what we can accomplish together. Thank you, CCEJ, for spreading that constructive message.”

Dr. Jane Close Conoley – speech link here “Our university’s increasing diversity is a particular strength and it allows us to guide our students to appreciate differences as a path to creativity and effectiveness. All of us struggle to accept and value difference… These struggles, we hope are teachable moments. Sometimes painful, but often transformative. I am fortunate to be in the position that pushes me to live out the values so expertly promulgated by CCEJ – justice, community, transformation and respect.”

Enjoy more photos of the event on our Facebook page.

Click here to learn more about the 2019 honorees.

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Gene Lentzner Nomination Application

Nomination Application

Please make sure to tell us about your nominee in your 1-2 pages by including the following:

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