April Carmelo | Shasta Union High School District
This year, the Jim Clark American Indian/Alaska Native Human Right Award goes to April Carmelo of Shasta Union High School District. April is a member of the Greenville Rancheria Maidu tribe and has worked for thirteen (13) years as the Indian Education Specialist for Title VI. She oversees Indian Education Programs for twenty-six (26) schools in her district. She works to promote Federal and State legislation to increase funding for American Indian/Alaska Native programs and issues. She works with students and her community in the Indian Education Consortium to promote student academic achievement, cultural awareness and appreciation, and higher education career planning.
In August of 2012, April’s son’s life was threatened by white supremacists in Shasta Lake, California. A man pointed a shotgun at her son and then aimed it at her, as he shouted “White Pride”. Shasta County sheriff did not file charges against the man with the gun. For April, this was a turning point – this was when she saw the urgency to make presentations at her city council meetings against Hate Crimes and Racism. She has spoken with anti-racial groups in the area to work on hate crimes and racism programs. She urged the city to join her and her son in establishing a human rights commission governed by Greenville Rancheria. To date, she continues her work in preventing hate crimes in her community.
Demonstrating the spirit of the Jim Clark American Indian/Alaska Native Award, I am proud to present this award to April Carmelo.