Tag Archives: Tribute to Change

Announcing the 2019 Tribute to Change Honorees

The Tribute to Change planning committee has selected a terrific group of honorees this year. We are pleased to introduce these world builders, disruptors, inventors, and creators.


2019 Tribute to Change Honorees

Francisco Cortes

Emerging Leader Award

Francisco Cortes is a Mexican immigrant and out gay Philadelphian. He intentionally and passionately advocates for immigrant and queer issues, and he currently serves as interim executive director of Galaei, a queer Latinx social justice organization.

Nancy Dung Nguyen

Trailblazer Award

Nancy Dung Nguyen is co-founder and executive director of VietLEAD, a grassroots group that organizes community and youth through a lens of social justice and anti-violence, health promotion and navigation, civic engagement, and community building projects.

Ron Whitehorne

Paul Robeson Lifetime Achievement Award

Ron Whitehorne advances education justice, workers’ rights, racial equity, and more through his commitment to groups like the Rainbow Coalition, Transport Workers Union, Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools, Youth United for Change, and 215 People’s Alliance.

Kara Tennis

Robin Hood Was Right Award

In 2016, Kara Tennis started on a journey of learning that redirected her focus to racial justice. Her work now includes paying direct reparations, fundraising for Bread & Roses, coaching other privileged people about white supremacy culture, and making and selling artwork through Justice Jewelry. She was a member of the 2018 Gender Justice Giving Project.

Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities (PCAC)

Victory is Ours Award

PCAC is a citywide coalition of 65 community, disability, faith, labor, and urban agriculture groups that successfully organizes to win land and money for affordable, accessible housing, and green space.

Photo credit: Austin Horton

Urban Creators

Victory is Ours Award

Urban Creators, a diverse group of young students, artists, activists, organizers, and entrepreneurs, transformed a 2-acre garbage dump in North Philadelphia into Life Do Grow urban farm, a sanctuary and platform for organizing and nourishment.


These determined, imaginative organizers and grassroots groups are leading the way towards our shared vision of an abundant, just, and equitable future. Learn more about the 2019 Tribute to Change here.

2017 Tribute to Change to honor leaders who nurture new leaders

people at the 2015 Tribute to Change“There are very few places you can go to school to learn how to be an activist,” says Kathy Black, a longtime member of the Bread & Roses Community Fund family who is currently serving on the Tribute to Change planning committee. “In social and economic justice movements, it’s inspiring leaders that draw people to the work,” she notes. “Those leaders need to be responsible, competent, and compelling, but they also need to be teachers in order to pass the work on.”

To commemorate Bread & Roses’ 40th anniversary, the Tribute to Change planning committee chose to focus this year’s awards on leaders who nurture new leaders. “A number of us thought about the throughput in leadership that we see in the hands and actions and campaigns and basebuilding from that 40-year beginning through today,” explains Hannah Sassaman, another planning committee member. “Every organizer and activist who’s active now benefited from the grace and vision, patience, and time of someone who wanted to invest in and develop their leadership.”

By acting as educators and mentors, these leaders look beyond their present moment to ensure that movements for change can thrive over generations. They meet people where they are and create spaces where new activists can learn, grow, and make mistakes. “I’m certainly grateful that I’ve had mentors and people who share with me their knowledge and their wisdom and their histories that I have been able to pass on to younger activists,” says planning committee member David Acosta. “It’s always a reciprocal relationship. It should never be one-sided or hierarchical. Older people can learn from younger people as well.”

People who nurture new leaders don’t always get acknowledged for performing this essential role in movement work. “Getting recognition or attending events, that’s a shot in the arm,” says Black. “You need those things to happen to keep up your motivation and your energy. You frequently have setbacks and terrible disappointments, so you have to build in celebrations and rewards to keep this momentum going, to keep you fired up and recharged.”

For 40 years Bread & Roses has invested in movements that invest in people. “Marking the progress of our organizing in Philly and recognizing our history in building power here, even though we have a long way to go, is extremely important in these times of crisis,” says Sassaman. “There’s nothing more important today than building thousands or millions of people who believe in their power to wrest a life of dignity from the jaws of oppression in late-stage capitalism.”