We’re excited to congratulate the first round of winners in the 2012 DFA and America’s Voice scholarship program. Each of these folks are doing great things in their communities, and we can’t wait to meet them in June to learn more about the their work.
If you’re interested in applying for a scholarship or would like to nominate someone for Round 2, click here.
ROUND 1 WINNERS
Cecil has been working in the media since the 1970’s and was blogging before blogging was invented. In 1995 he created an online weekly newsletter that had hundreds of subscribes and covered book reviews, letters to the editor and poetry, among other things. He’s the author of eight books and after years of investigative reporting decided to try governing to see what the other side of the table was like.
After an assignment in her AP government class inspired Roya to create and write a Daily Kos post, she quickly realized that “I could make a difference with just my words and opinions.” Her first post on the State of the Union and the Republican response was so moving that it made it to the front page and the site’s recommended list. She is a high school senior determined to be an example of political awareness and civic participation to her peers.
Wagatwe discovered her passion for human rights in high school and put it into use as a student organizer at Tufts University, where she organized to change the way the school addressed sexual violence on campus and their actions towards survivors of campus sexual violence. Since then she’s had the honor of working with the Third Wave Foundation, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Students Active For Ending Rape and ColorofChange. In her spare time, she talks about equality on her blog.
@MaxwellJohnLove has worked on education accessibility, radical anti-homelessness organization and on the issues of Palestianian refugees. He draws inspiration for these movements from Max Rameau, M.E.Ch.A members and D.R.E.A.M. activists. He’s also worked with the United States Student Association, the Generational Alliance and Young People For.
A positive outlook help e.shor as she blogs her way to finding meaningful ways of improving health in LGBTQ communities, immigrant communities, communities of color, fat communities and other marginalized communities. Her energy and love of laughter are at the core of her identity as a genderqueer, immigrant jew, public health practitioner and community organizer.
Danielle, aka The LeftNeckChick
Fort Lauderdale, FL
As a self-proclaimed “progressive redneck,” Danielle hosts a political talk show called “Talking Left” on the Radio or Not network and can also be found on Talk Radio One, Progressive Blend Radio, So Flo Radio and iTunes. She has always been interested in politics. Although she loves writing and blogging, she realized that the ability to share more through radio was much more appealing to her.
Cjz is a passionate neighborhood activist who has been working hard to rehabilitate her community by creating a movement against historic building demolition and finding alternative was to keep those buildings and their surrounding communities intact. She also serves as the vice precinct committee member for the Democratic party in her district.
William C. Anderson
Since age 16, William has been community organizing and helping educate and empower marginalized communities around him. His upbringing taught him that politics influence so much of the world. This has lead to his work on organizing the disenfranchised around him against the power structure that is oppressing them. Events like Hurricane Katrina, the Bush elections and the “War on Terror” influenced him to get involved and to make a positive political difference.
Susanthe comes from an activist background as an anti-nuclear activist in NH with around a dozen arrests for civil disobedience to prove her commitment to change. The 2000 elections are what inspired her to get more involved in politics and she’s been writing and blogging about them ever since. She currently writes op-eds for her local conservative paper and understands that her state has a media problem (one network TV station, one public television station and mostly conservative newspapers), which is why she turned to blogging.
Lake Bluff, IL
Growing up with both parents as public employees, Dylan knew that it wasn’t a choice about getting involved in that environment, but to what degree. He is currently a field fellow with Ilya Sheyman’s campaign for U.S. Congress in the Illinois 10th District. From his work on Team Sheyman, he is convinced that “grassroots methods are not only the most effective, but also the most meaningful, way of producing change in the United States.”
Las Vegas, NV
After Iamderekw learned that he was diagnosed with AIDS he went from despair to hope after watching Hillary Clinton’s run for the 2008 presidential nomination. The first blog he started, Derek’s Big Fat Democratic Adventure, which was a way to diary his experience at the convention, turned him onto the power of blogging.
Since holding his first MoveOn event—a candlelight vigil highlighting the Iraq War—Darrell has worked passionately on issues such as human rights, workers rights, environmentalism and LGBT rights. He is a 2011 inaugural Greensboro Justice Fund Fellow at Highlander Center, as well as the founder of Coffee Party Progressives, a Netroots network of progressives.
On March of 2010, Hivster was diagnosed with HIV. He then started Hivster.com, an online magazine for forward-thinking men and women who make up a large portion of new diagnoses but need more information available to them. Growing up, his parents ran an alternative newspaper, The Local Planet, which gave him the opportunity to attend rallies, forums, and accompany his mother on interviews. Through these experiences he fell in love with the passion and caring of progressives.
Bob is the executive director of Voters Legislative Transparency Project (VLTP), which works to make all proposed legislation available and transparent to voters. Another passion of his has been to working against prison industry issues, where he’s been instrumental in exposing prison industry corruption in the U.S. and the exploitation of inmate labor. Bob is frequent DailyKos blogger, advisor to the Criminal Justice Network of the Presbyterian Health and opponent of American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Maria Luz Torre
San Francisco, CA
From her first political speech at age seven in the Philippines to being a founding organizer of Parent Voices, Maria has always been engaged and active in politics. She grew up during the martial law years in the Philippines but was determined to fight against that environment as part of the UP Law Student Government Liberation Forces. Currently she’s focused on organizing low-income parents with young children, building their capacity to advocate for their families so that they will have an opportunity to live a decent life and have a chance to raise their children to in a safe and healthy environment with supportive services.