Kara Hull – Tampa, Florida:
Kara Hull, Tampa, Florida: Hull is a bright young woman who has shown remarkable initiative in helping Tampa Bay’s abused children. Now age 16, she has written, directed and produced a holiday each year since she was 8 years old. All the proceeds go to The Children’s Home, which operates a variety of family-oriented services, most notably a nationally recognized residential treatment facility for children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected.
Triveni Balkrishna Acharya – Mumbai, India: Acharya raids brothels in red-light districts with police to rescue underage girls who are trafficked from Nepal, Bangladesh, and North India and sold into prostitution. She then helps the girls build a different life, starting with psychosocial counseling and then integrating them back into society with the supports they need.
Malalai Joya -, Farah, Afghanistan: Joya is a 27-year-old member of the Afghan Parliament and speaks publicly against the domination of warlords in her home country. She has survived four assassination attempts and travels in Afghanistan under a burqa and with armed guards. She heads the non-governmental group “Organization of Promoting Afghan Women’s Capabilities.
Janny Beekman – Houwerziil, Netherlands: Beekman has been devoted to the cause of peace and the role of women for years, and currently works with on Middle East issues with a Dutch organization called United Civilians for Peace. Together with women from Afghanistan, she established a refugee home in Kabul for women escaping violence in their homes and provides them with a job and income.
Cindy Sheehan – Venice, California: Sheehan has become the voice and face of the anti-war movement after losing her son. She began an organization, Gold Star Families for Peace, for others who have lost their children fighting in Iraq and she now represents, inspires and leads an entire movement.
Rev. Kathy Manis Findley – Little Rock, Arkansas: Rev. Findley has invested her life in promoting nonviolence and has worked with survivors of sexual abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse, as well as being involved in the city, state, and national initiatives for over 20 years. She founded The Center for Healing and Hope in 2002 to support survivors of violence and to provide violence prevention education in the community. She also founded the Interfaith Alliance Against Violence and the National Association of Victim Assistance Professionals.
Elisa Young – Racine, Ohio; An environmental activist for her area of Ohio, Young has organized groups of neighbors to protest the plans for new coal-burning electricity plants along the Ohio River. She has organized media tours like “The High Cost of Cheap Coal” and panel discussions at conferences. She has also raised money for a film project and worked countless hours to educate herself and others on the
issues of pollution from coal-fired electricity plants. With no higher education, she’s managed to gain the attention of media like The New York Time and The Washington Post.
Valerie Nutter – Zanesville, Ohio: Nutter created the SUCCESS program for single mothers because she has lived her life as a single mom of two children. She worked as a grocery store cashier for eight years while putting herself through school, and then researched and wrote a program to assist single mothers on public assistance to develop the self-esteem and skills to get an education or a better job. Her project is based on a three-year curriculum that helps women ages 13 to 30 better their lives and situations.
Nia Z. Sherar – Salt Lake City, Utah: Sherar’s dream since childhood was to work with poor women and children in Africa toward a violence-free world. She began her “Road to Non-violence Crusade” in 1997 when she founded the non-profit Opportunity Fund for Developing Countries (OFDC) Since then she and other volunteers have raised almost a half million dollars to send overseas to start microcredit projects for women and sponsor education for girls. She often travels alone to remote, rural villages in Bolivia, Kenya, and Nepal to live with and learn from women and families.
Diane Tillman – Seal Beach, California: Tillman is a founding member and chief author of the Living Values Education resources, a series of activity books for use with children ages 3 to young adults, a manual for children affected by war, and other publications, the proceeds of which she donates to ALIVE, Living Values Education International, a nonprofit linked with UNESCO and UNICEF.
Peg Petersen – New Port Richey, Florida: A volunteer and mentor with Some of My Best Friends organization that helps women in West Pasco County, Florida, Peterson is using her expertise and commitment to women leaving prison, who are homeless or recovering from domestic violence or addiction to alcohol and other drugs. She teaches conflict resolution, problem-solving and goal setting skills, and is on call 24 hours a day for emergency services.
Sandy Coyne – Port Richey, Florida: Coyne opened three halfway houses for recovering drug and alcohol addicts, using her own money to pay bills and help the people she mentors. She focuses on community-level services for women and men in need to build trust and support recovery.
Dori Brown – Tampa, Florida: Brown quit her job to realize a lifelong dream of walking the entire Appalachian Trail to raise money for Brookwood, a 52-bed home to young girls ages 13-21, most of whom have been abused. She not only sold her house to help finance the trip but started training for this fundraiser while she was overweight and in poor health.