Community Relations Service
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2002
Contact: Daryl Borgquist
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Sharee M. Freeman, Director of the Community Relations Service (CRS), U.S. Department of Justice, presented the Leroy Collins Community Service Award for Civil Rights Progress to Sandy Gutierrez, Executive Director of the Latino Chamber of Commerce and Diane Porter, Executive Director of the YWCA in Pueblo, Colorado.
"The Community Relations Service is pleased to honor Sandy Gutierrez and Diane Porter for their initiative in sponsoring community racial dialogues which have had a major impact on race relations in Pueblo. Their cooperative efforts with the Community Relations Service represent the highest values and principles of America at work in our communities," said CRS Director Sharee M. Freeman.
The award will be presented at a luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Occhiato Ballroom, University of Southern Colorado, 2200 Bonforte Boulevard, Pueblo, Colorado.
Ms. Gutierrez and Ms. Porter were selected for this award because of their outstanding leadership in conducting community racial dialogues which led to the formation of a city and county human relations commission in Pueblo, Colorado. At the time of the formation of the human relations commission, the task force was instrumental in addressing community racial issues between the Italian American, Native American, and Hispanic communities in Pueblo, Colorado, which surfaced over Columbus Day celebrations.
The award is named for Governor Leroy Collins, the first Community Relations Service Director, who served from 1964 to 1966. As Governor of Florida, Leroy Collins promoted civil rights progress and brought people together. He then led CRS in helping communities move from a racially segregated to an integrated society.
This award was created to honor citizens who: have made significant contributions to the promotion of civil rights and race relations in a matter of national importance; displayed extraordinary professional and personal qualities; and cooperated significantly with CRS. The award recognizes that the ideals of brotherhood, equality, justice, and racial harmony were significantly enhanced by the life and work of the honorees.
The award has only been presented once before to the late Judge Arthur Garrity, Jr., Senior Federal District Judge, District of Massachusetts in 1994 for his cooperation and work with CRS during the desegregation of the Boston public schools in the 1970s.
For more information about the Community Relations Service, a unique racial conflict resolution and prevention agency of the U.S. Department of Justice, please see its web site at www.usdoj.gov/crs.
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