On May 16, 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).
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 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.