Human Rights Council honors four activists
The Tampa/Hillsborough County Human Rights Council announced recipients of its annual awards Thursday morning in Tampa.
The annual ceremony â€“ to be commemorated at a breakfast next week - comes on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Hank Warren Memorial Award was given to Pat Frank, the longtime Tampa legislator who now works as clerk of the court in Hillsborough County. Frank said has received several awards, but said she could not think of receiving any higher recognition than for human rights. She spoke of the hope felt in the country with the election of the first black president.
Reflecting on her long career, Frank referred to a time when she served in the state House of Representatives, and said she was one of only about 10 legislators who opposed a bill that would ban gays and lesbians from adopting children.
Pat Spencer, secretary of the Hillsborough County branch of the NAACP and a former school board member in Detroit, also was recognized with a Human Rights Award.
Also receiving a Human Rights Award is Tampa schoolteacher David Sinclair, who has worked for a variety of causes throughout his life. His highest profile action as an activist was working on the global Nestle boycott against the unethical marketing of infant formula.
The Eddie Mitchell Award was given to Taurean Wong, a product of Community Tampa Bayâ€™s Anytown Program, which he credits for helping him succeed despite his previously troubled background.
Council President Ahmed Bedier, who also hosts a weekly public affairs program on WMNF, closed the news conference by saying that the Human Rights Council will be as vigilant as ever in these recessionary times.
The news conference was a preview of the councilâ€™s awards breakfast, in which all of the recipients will be honored in a more formal venue. That takes place Dec. 12 at the Doubletree Westshore Hotel at 7:30 a.m.
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