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The National Civil Rights Museum has announced the recipients of the prestigious 2023 Keeper of the Dream Award, honoring young individuals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to social causes and community transformation. This year's winners Hannah Glenn, Jade Mitchell, and Ira Sharma, have made remarkable contributions to their community and beyond.
Hannah Glenn, a senior at East High School and a distinguished leader in JROTC, is being recognized for her passionate advocacy of voter education and activism. Her "Sign Up to Vote" initiative has inspired her peers to actively engage in the democratic process, and her voluntary contributions of over 200 hours to various local and national organizations, including FeedMemphis and Veterans of America, have made a significant impact.
Jade Mitchell, a seventh-grader at Colonial Middle School, has channeled her creativity and positivity through her music. Her song "Memphis and Beyond," performed with the youth choir Perfecting Gifts, has spread love and hope during challenging times, garnering over 16,000 Facebook views and receiving airtime on local radio stations.
Ira Sharma, a senior at White Station High School, is being honored for her advocacy in immigrant and women's rights. Her involvement in organizations like Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope (MICAH) Youth Council and Young Women Against Injustice (YWAI) has promoted cultural connections and assistance to immigrant and ESL students. Ira's leadership extends to initiatives like the school's annual Culture Day and the Math Invitational for Girls, encouraging young women to explore STEM fields.
Dr. Russ Wigginton, President of the National Civil Rights Museum, commended these exceptional young individuals. “These remarkable young individuals embody the spirit of the civil rights movement, standing as beacons of hope and catalysts for change in our community”
The Keeper of the Dream Award will be presented to the winners during the hybrid Freedom Award Student Forum on Thursday, Oct. 19, at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church. Each recipient will receive a $500 prize, a trophy, a one-year family membership to the National Civil Rights Museum, and two round-trip Southwest Airlines tickets, allowing them to explore destinations across the continental U.S.
The Student Forum serves as the inaugural event for the National Civil Rights Museum's Freedom Award celebration, which recognizes global trailblazers dedicated to the advancement of civil and human rights. Through this program, students and educators have the invaluable opportunity to learn from and be inspired by individuals leading the charge for civil and human rights worldwide.
-Contributed by National Civil Rights Museum staff.
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