Contact: Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324
BURLINGAME – Six teachers from across the state are this year’s winners of the annual California Teachers Association’s Human Rights Awards for their outstanding dedication to promoting and protecting human and civil rights.
“The sincere commitment of these educators to protecting civil rights within their communities and beyond deserves recognition,” said Barbara E. Kerr, president of the 340,000-member CTA. “These are educators making a profound difference in their schools and cities. We honor their compassion with these awards.”
The winners of the CTA Human Rights Awards this year are:
HAYWARD: Yvonne Valdez is the winner of the César Chávez “Sí Se Puede” Human Rights Award for her ongoing work providing support and college preparatory help to Latino students in the Hayward Unified School District in the Bay Area. The Hayward Education Association member shows an unwavering commitment to empowering students to educate themselves about their cultures.
LONG BEACH: Tony Diaz earned the CTA Member Human Rights Award for promoting human rights issues within his community. He was the first elected Hispanic president of the Teachers Association of Long Beach and sparked that union’s participation in the local Martin Luther King Jr. community parade.
PALM SPRINGS: Robert Tilt, a member of the Palm Springs Teachers Association, is honored with the Jim Clark American Indian/Alaska Native Human Rights Award. He preserves the heritage of Native Americans and is one of the original members of the Agua Caliente Indian Educational Museum.
HAYWARD: Lynn Bravewomon is honored with the Nancy Bailey Leadership in Lesbian and Gay Issues Human Rights Award. In Hayward Unified, she coordinated 15 workshops for new teachers and others about the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, and helped launch curriculum about tolerance.
LOS ANGELES: The Pacific Asian American Human Rights Award goes to Jane Sakamoto, a school nurse in Los Angeles Unified and a member of United Teachers Los Angeles. She is honored for her work focusing on preventing tuberculosis, especially among Asian Americans, and on AIDS and HIV prevention.
UNION CITY: For promoting equal opportunities for African-Americans, Union City teacher Patsy Lockhart in the Bay Area received the Lois Tinson Human Rights Award, named after CTA’s first African-American president. Her writing intervention program in New Haven Unified focuses on African-American students, and a program she started offers support to immigrant students from Africa.