30 for 30 Tribute to Change: the Honorees

Amadee Braxton is an organizer, fundraiser and documentary filmmaker whose activism has spanned youth development, harm reduction, public education, reproductive rights, police brutality and peace. She works with Iraq Veterans Against the War to educate the public about the realities of the war and to pressure policy makers into bringing troops home.

Anne Ewing is a longtime supporter of human rights and peace efforts who has advocated for the rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, to be full participants in the life and leadership of the United Methodist Church.

Barbara Hirshkowitz co-founded Books through Bars, which distributes free educational materials to incarcerated people in order to facilitate prisoner education and promote successful community reintegration.

Carol Rogers is a union activist and a physician’s assistant with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health who has been a strong advocate for reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and universal health care.

Celeste Zappala, whose eldest son was killed while deployed in Baghdad, has been working to promote a peaceful resolution to the occupation of Iraq and to raise American consciousness about the true cost of the war. She is a founding member of Gold Star Families Speak Out and is the executive director of the Mayor’s Commission on Services to the Aging.

Cheri Honkala founded the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and has worked for many years leading poor Philadelphia families in the struggle for living-wage jobs, health care, affordable housing and daily survival. She is also the national coordinator of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign and co-chair of the National Welfare Rights Union.

Chris Bartlett, former director of Safeguards Gay Men’s Health Project, is a health activist, community organizer, writer and longtime advocate for LGBT health care and HIV/AIDS prevention.

David Acosta is a writer and activist who has worked in the areas of HIV/AIDS prevention, health care reform, Native American rights and LGBT rights. He coordinates the city of Philadelphia’s HIV/AIDS prevention programs, founded the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative, and co-founded the Philadelphia Working Fund For Artists with HIV/AIDS.

David Haas is a longtime advocate and supporter of independent media production who has campaigned for policy changes in media ownership. He chairs the boards of the William Penn Foundation and Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media, which is committed to advancing media arts and public interest funding.

Deborah Zubow advocates for children’s health issues at Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth and is a longtime supporter of women’s rights and LGBT issues.

Ellen Somekawa is the executive director of Asian Americans United and has been involved with the organization since 1988, working to empower people of Asian ancestry in Philadelphia to exercise leadership in building their communities and uniting against oppression.

Erik von Schmetterling is a longtime civil rights activist and a community organizer with Disabled in Action working to end discrimination against people with disabilities.

Fernando Chang-Muy is a consultant helping grassroots groups build their capacity through organizational development support.

Jane Shull is the executive director of Philadelphia FIGHT, a comprehensive AIDS service organization offering HIV primary care, clinical research, social services and education programs to empower people living with HIV to take control of decisions that will affect their lives.

John Bell, a prison outreach specialist with Philadelphia Fight, is a longtime HIV/AIDS activist and advocate for incarcerated people. With the Philadelphia County Prison Coalition for Prison Health Care he has helped to increase the number and quality of services for HIVpositive inmates, and as an instructor for Project Teach Outside he helps ex-offenders reintegrate, thereby decreasing recidivism.

Jonathan Stein has worked as an attorney with Community Legal Services of Philadelphia since 1968, leading successful efforts to advance the rights of the poor through class-action law suits and law reform advocacy.

Julia Lopez is the executive director of Centro Pedro Claver, a community center in the Puerto Rican community of North Philadelphia that advocates for education reform, bilingual education, and issues of equity and fairness regarding local housing policies. She is also a performance artist, poet and board chair for the Leeway Foundation.

Lorene Cary is an author, teacher and social activist who is the founder and executive director of the Art Sanctuary in North Philadelphia, which works to build community involvement and awareness of Black art and the issues it explores.

Marciene Mattleman is the founder of the After School Activities Partnership, which advocates to increase after-school enrichment opportunities for young people.

Sister Mary Scullion is the co-founder of Project HOME and has worked for many years to address issues of homelessness in the Philadelphia area.

Matty Hart works for economic and racial justice, LGBTI community development and equity in arts and culture.

Nelson Carrasquillo is an organizer with CATA, the Farmworkers’ Support Committee, working to educate and empower migrant farm workers in the fight for better working and living conditions.

Nijmie Dzurinko is an organizer, youth worker and movement strategist, as well as a founding member of the Media Mobilizing Project. She is also the director of the Philadelphia Student Union, a youth-run organization committed to fighting for high-quality education for all young people.

Pedro Rodriguez is a political leader, activist and community organizer who is also the executive director of Action Alliance of Senior Citizens and a longtime advocate for the rights of seniors.

Rebecca Rathje is the co-founder of Youth United for Change, an organization dedicated to developing young leaders in Philadelphia and empowering them to improve the quality of education and services in their communities.

Rosemary Cubas was an activist, a community organizer and founder of the Community Leadership Institute in North Philadelphia who battled for affordable housing, community empowerment and an end to eminent domain abuse.

Terry Rumsey is an activist who has worked on issues related to the environment, homelessness, mental illness and voter empowerment. He founded Pennsylvania Abolitionists United Against the Death Penalty, is the co-chair of Delaware County Wage Peace and Justice, and is owner and president of Green Seeds, a fund development company working for grassroots and social justice organizations.

Thoai Nguyen is the executive director of the Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Association, which advocates for immigrant and refugee rights.

Val King supports youth leadership development, particularly among LGBT youth. He co-founded the Attic Youth Center and currently works with the Youth Health Empowerment Project.

William Goldsby is the founder of Reconstruction, Inc., a grassroots community development corporation striving to reestablish a sense of shared community through collective work, individual responsibility and mutual respect.