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City Life/Vida Urbana wins Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice

Posted by Justin Rice  April 3, 2012 10:27 AM

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City Life/Vida Urbana has won the 20th annual Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice for its work fighting social and economic injustice.

The $10,000 award will be presented to City Life/Vida Urbana's Executive Director, Curdina Hill, on May 11. The evening will feature dinner at the Hawthorne Hotel before the award is presented at the Peabody Essex Museum.

The Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice is presented each year to an individual or organization that speaks out against injustice and promotes tolerance. It was created to keep alive the lessons learned in the Witch Trials of 1692.

A 38-year-old bilingual, community organization whose mission is to fight for racial, social and economic justice and gender equality, City Life/Vida Urbana builds working class power through direct action, coalition building, education and advocacy. The organization most well known for promoting tenant rights and preventing housing displacement. In response to the devastating impact of the foreclosure crisis on communities in Boston, they launched the Post-Foreclosure Eviction Defense campaign in 2007 to help keep people facing foreclosure in their homes.

"Victories won by hundreds of organized families have created public and political pressure which is driving legislative reform and has inspired the emergence of similar campaigns across the region," According to City Life/Vida Urbana's website.

In 2011, a lead grant from the Open Society Foundations’ Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative has made it possible for City Life/Vida Urbana's to expand its efforts beyond Boston.

The Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice is given each year to keep alive the lessons of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and to recognize those who are speaking out and taking action to alleviate discrimination and promote tolerance.

The first Salem Award was given in 1992 to Gregory Alan Williams for his efforts during the South Los Angeles riots.

 Salem residents and Salem State University students can attend the awards dinner for free by making a reservation at Salem City Hall or at the Student Life Office at Salem State.



Justin A. Rice can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com.

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