CIRCLE OF CHANGE AWARDS 2020/2021
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
7:00 - 8:30 pm EST
Hosted via Zoom
Ticket and Auction
information is below
The Circle of Change Awards are closely tied to Community Shares mission of promoting a more just & caring community through supporting the work of more than 30 social justice member organizations working to address the root causes of poverty, hunger, racism, and seeking positive changes on a systemic level. The Circle of Change awards honor those in our community who give significant time and energy in the service of social change. There are six awards given out.
The Danny Mayfield Champion of Change Award goes to a leader in our community who has championed an initiative or campaign whose goal is to change conditions that create injustice. Our 2020/21 honoree is Drocella Mugorewera. In her native country of Rwanda, Drocella was responsible for significant environmental reform, including implementing a land reform system that allowed women to inherit land for the first time in addition to using her position in the government to work on restoring peace and transitional justice efforts. After fleeing to the United States in 2008 she became involved in a number of social and environmental issues, becoming the Director of Bridge Refugee Services a few years ago. At Bridge she has shown leadership in advocating on behalf of refugees and immigrants helping to lead several community wide rallies and events in support and working to get both the state of Tennessee, Knoxville and Knox County to vote to allow refugee resettlement to continue.
The Artist of Change Award is presented to an artist or group of artists who uses their art to create or demonstrate a connection between their art and social change. Our 2020/21 honoree is Cheryl Prose for the Me Too Art Project. This project uses visual art to give a voice to survivors of sexual assault and abuse through artistic storytelling. It is designed to give survivors of sexual violence another vehicle by which to speak their truth about their experience, be a means by which to hold perpetrators accountable, raise awareness of the epidemic of sexual harassment and assault, and be a means by which solidarity is shown- without regard to gender- with and to those who have experienced this type of life-altering attack.
The Gardener of Change Award honors an educator who teaches their students to think critically about issues of injustice (locally, nationally or internationally) and encourages them to take action. Our 2020/21 honoree is Corey Hodge. Corey teaches proficiency in math and science to 4th graders at Maynard Elementary but is dedicated to also teaching them the importance of having grit and strength – qualities he observed in his hardworking single mom during her brief life. He works to help marginalized kids overcome not only their own troubles, but the low expectations that society sometimes places on them.
The Seed of Change Award is given to a young person who has shown leadership, vision and courage in addressing injustice. Our 2020/21 honoree is Sarah Margaret Hutchison for her work with Allies of Knoxville’s Immigrant Neighbors (AKIN). She has served on an advisory committee, the jail track team, and the steering committee while also helping with research, advocacy, and community-building. As a young white woman working on immigration issues, she models what it is to be a good ally to affected communities: she listens, she engages in one-on-one conversation, and she helps redirect white friends who may be operating in ways that impede productive allyship.
The Institution for Change Award goes to an institution that demonstrates socially conscious practices in the community. Our 2020/21 honoree is The Highlander Center. Although this award is not typically given to a Community Shares member group, the Highlander Center is being honored for their steadfast commitment to fighting for social justice even in the midst of adversity and attack. In March 2019, white supremacists burned down Highlander’s administrative offices leaving racist graffiti as their signature. Highlander’s staff and board showed their resilience by continuing their work without a break.
The Campaign for Change Award honors a recent campaign that has worked in pursuit of social change included grassroots support and has/had a significant impact on a constituency or the community at large. Our 2020/21 honoree is KITA (Knoxville Immigrant Transit Assistance). KITA is a collective that came about when ICE began moving asylum seekers out of the family detention facilities in Texas and Arizona and they started coming through the Knoxville Greyhound bus station on their way to meet family and friends in other parts of the country. They organized supporters to meet several buses a day to offer food, translation help, medicine, clothes and other needs to thousands of immigrants passing through Knoxville.