- Father James Manship was honored by the New Haven Register as Person of the Year, Jan. 3, 2012
- Angel Fernandez-Cavero and Father James Manship were honored by The Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater New Haven, as recipients of The Eisner Award for Community Service, June 14, 2012 (Read more about the Eisner Award presentor’s remarks describing the extraordinary work of CONECT recipients, and Father Jim’s comments about the Award.)
- Elizabeth Keenan was honored by the National Association of Social Workers/CT as Social Worker of the Year; Father Jim honored by the association as Public Citizen of the Year, June 19, 2012. (Read the Director’s description of Liz and Jim’s’remarkable work and the NASW press release.
Jewish Federation / Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater New Haven
ROBERT EISNER COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD 2012
Award Presentation Remarks June 14, 2012
Good evening. My name is Arthur Levy and I have had the privilege of chairing the Jewish Community Relations Council from 2010 to the present.
It is an honor to be called upon to give the Robert Eisner Community Service Award to this year’s awardees, Father James Manship and Angel Fernandez-Chavero.
But first I would like to welcome our honored guests, including Mr. and Mrs. Calvin & Theresa Manship, Father Jim’s parents; Angel’s wife Filomena, daughter Angela and in-laws, Mr. and Mrs. Ayala; and many distinguished community leaders. I would also like to recognize Larry Eisner, son of the late Robert R. Eisner, for whom this Community Service Award was named.
The Eisner Award is given every year to exceptional individuals or groups for “Making a Significant Contribution in the Jewish and Secular Communities”, for recognizing a pressing need and doing something about it that changes the lives of others for the good.
Robert Eisner was a Yale Law graduate who started a building supply business in West Haven in 1951 and ran it successfully for 30 years, until his untimely passing at the age of 61.
Throughout the 1960s and 70s, Bob Eisner devoted himself to numerous Jewish and secular civic organizations such as Tweed Airport, United Way, Long Wharf Theater, the Jewish Home, B’nai Jacob Synagogue and the Jewish Community Council, the precursor to our Community Relations Council—and those are just the highlights.
He received ADL’s prestigious Torch of Liberty Award and was inducted into the JCC’s Kovod Society. Known for his passion and generosity of spirit, he cared deeply and worked hard to make the world a better place. More than that, he was a wonderful leader who inspired others to get involved and take action.
Those exact words can be used to describe all the people who have received this award since 1983, but especially this year’s honorees. Angel Fernandez-Chavero and Father James Manship are being recognized this year for their exceptional courage and vision in defense of the human rights of the immigrant community of New Haven.
Father James Manship was ordained in 1998 and has served the past seven years as pastor of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in the Fair Haven section of New Haven. Father Manship believes that an integral part of his mission as priest is to work with his parishioners to act and lead in the public square for the benefit of all, especially the poor and vulnerable. As a result, St. Rose parishioners have worked for New Haven’s municipal ID card, giving the undocumented access to city and banking services; for a settlement from Immigration and Customs Enforcement for civil rights violations during the 2007 raids; for federal action against racial profiling and brutality by the East Haven Police Department; and for passage of Connecticut’s Dream Act, which provides for in-state tuition to state universities for undocumented graduates of state high schools. Father Jim is a founder of CONECT, Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut, 25 congregations in New Haven and Fairfield counties dedicated to social justice and standing with the marginalized to heal the world.
Angel Fernandez-Chavero has been a leader of St. Rose Church in these efforts. Angel has been instrumental in helping the Jewish Community Relations Council develop its position in support of comprehensive immigration reform and has co-chaired the JCRC Immigration Committee since 2006.
Angel’s involvement with the Jewish community goes back to the early days of the Jewish- Latino Dialogue with Linda Kantor and Lindy Lee Gold. As a co-chair of Vision for a Greater New Haven’s Diversity Committee, Angel worked with ADL’s A World of Difference program to shed light and understanding on intergroup relations in New Haven. More recently, Angel has helped develop community-owned assets such as a supermarket plaza, day care facilities, and housing. Through his consulting business, Aspire Praxis, he helps foundations, nonprofits and donors turn their visions into reality.
The Jewish Community Relations Council and many members of our community have worked with Father Jim and Angel. Together we have built bridges of understanding and caring. Tonight, we applaud their efforts and all the ways they inspire not only the people of St. Rose, but people of all religions and ethnicities who strive for a better future.
(Awards presented on June 14, 2012, 7:00 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, Woodbridge, CT. For information contact: Lauri Lowell, Director, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater New Haven, 203 387-2424 x 318; email@example.com)
Father James Manship and Angel Fernandez-Cavero receive the 2012 Eisner Award for Community Service
“Angel Fernandez has had a long relationship with the Jewish community of Greater New Haven. It was during the 2007 raids by agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E) that this relationship blossomed with St Rose of Lima.
Among the 34 people taken in 2 early morning raids conducted by I.C.E, 30 were parishioners of St. Rose of Lima.
After much fear, the community gathered on Thursday evening that week for a Mass. St Rose of Lima Church was surrounded by some 1,500 people (police estimate), many from members of our organization ECCO (Elm City Congregations Organized) and the Jewish community.
To this day, parishioners who remember those days of dread, recall seeing many Jewish head coverings or “yarmulkes” in the crowd. I was personally moved to hear the words of Mrs. Irm Wessel who addressed the crowd despite her well over 80 years of age. Mrs. Wessel stood next to one of the women whose husband was taken away by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, recounting her own family’s experience of fleeing during Kristallnacht.
There is a common experience of not being welcomed – of being treated as an alien, a stranger – that our communities share and bind us more deeply to one another, as we strive to repair the brokenness of our world.
It was an honor for my mother and father to be there as Angel and I received the Robert Eisner Award for Community Service. It was also wonderful to have Rabbi Bob Orkand present to share this celebration, and through him CONECT.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Pat Hartman, Coordinator of Professional Development, NASW/CT
Phone: 860 257-8066
June 12, 2012
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS, CONNECTICUT CHAPTER, HONORS COLLEAGUES AT ANNUAL AWARDS DINNER
The National Association of Social Workers, Connecticut Chapter, will honor 5 of their members and 3 public citizens at their Annual Awards Dinner on June 19, 2012 in New Haven. Individuals whose work exemplifies their commitment to social and economic justice and who have made a difference in the lives of others will be celebrated by their colleagues and friends at a dinner at Anthony’s Ocean View.
Those being honored include:
Elizabeth King Keenan, PhD, LCSW, Social Worker of the Year Award. Elizabeth Keenan of Shelton is a Professor in the Department of Social Work at Southern Connecticut State University. Affiliated with SCSU for 12 years, Dr. Keenan coordinates the BSW Program, reviewing all applications and serving as advisor to incoming students. Under her guidance and leadership, the undergraduate program has grown and thrived. She has developed an integrated theory of generalist practice, using the model in her teaching, testing alternative class delivery models, and presenting the results at conferences. At present she is awaiting publication of a book she co-authored entitled The Common Factors Model for Generalist Practice, First Edition.
A dedicated educator and researcher, Liz works to provide students with essential tools for the enhancement of their learning, teaching them how to integrate class work into real life practice as they make their journey towards the profession of Social Work.
It is her talent as a teacher combined with her commitment to social and economic justice and her leadership in CONECT (Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut), however, that leads to the 2012 Social Worker of the Year Award. Dr. Keenan’s work over the past year as a founding member of CONECT exemplifies how one can combine the core values of social work practice, community organization skills, grassroots advocacy, an ability to balance the “big picture” with the needs of the individual, and compassion to make our society a more fair and humane place for all. While the origins of CONECT began with a clergy group believing they might have a greater impact on social issues by combining their efforts and working at a higher policy level to effect change, they are now over 15,000 strong from 25 varied religious institutions. Urban and suburban, multi-faith and ethnically diverse, living in communities from Norwalk to East Haven, the group is incorporated and has a powerful voice.
One of three lay leaders on the Executive Committee of six, Liz Keenan’s contributions to the establishment of this organization are significant. A clinician, an educator, an organizer, and an articulate advocate for justice, Liz Keenan is a wonderful example of the values of the social work profession and NASW/CT applauds her contributions and this year of exceptional accomplishments and is honored to award Elizabeth Keenan Social Worker of the Year.
Rev. James Manship of New Haven is pastor of the Saint Rose of Lima Church in New Haven and is being recognized for his leadership and his support of a growing Latino community which includes many undocumented immigrants. A native of East Hartford and a 1982 graduate of East Catholic High School in Manchester, Father Jim obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering from UCONN before he changed his life’s path and entered the priesthood. For years he has worked to undo the injustices he sees around him, helping the undocumented get driver’s licenses and auto insurance, assisting high school graduates in his parish get into college, and fighting against racial discrimination.
It was his videotaping of some East Haven police and his subsequent arrest in 2009 that led to a probe by the U.S. Justice Department which found that the Police Department had, indeed, shown a pattern of discrimination, particularly against Latinos.
Blending social activism with serving the spiritual needs of his community, Rev. Manship has also been instrumental in helping churches, temples, and mosques join together to fight for social and economic justice in the non-partisan, interfaith group called CONECT—Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut. An organization that promises to be a powerful moral voice in Connecticut’s future, Father Jim serves on the Strategy Committee and acts as Co-Chair of the Executive Committee. Honored by the New Haven Register as their Person of the Year, NASW/CT is honored to award Father Jim with our Public Citizen of the Year Award.
Senator Edith Prague, MSW of Columbia has represented the residents of the 19th Senatorial District since 1994. Prior to her tenure as Senator, she served for eight years in the state House of Representatives and was Commissioner of the now defunct State Department of Aging. Senator Prague has earned a place of distinction as one of the state’s leading advocates for senior citizens and has improved access to affordable healthcare for all of Connecticut’s residents. While Commissioner she established a statewide health insurance program, operating at present under the name CHOICES, which offers counseling to all seniors who have questions about insurance coverage through the Area Agencies on Aging. She was instrumental in helping to establish the first Assisted Living Facilities in the state and served as Senate chair of the Committee on Aging after winning full status for it. Senator Prague’s leadership role continued as the Senate Chair of the Labor and Public Employees Committee, as vice-chair of the Appropriations Committee, and as a member of the Public Health Committee. She has also fought tirelessly for strict standards and tough consequences in her effort to reduce the incidence of drunk driving in Connecticut. Senator Prague graduated with a BS in Social Work from Eastern Connecticut State University and earned her MSW at the UCONN School of Social Work. Prior to her many years of service in the General Assembly, Senator Prague worked as a medical social worker at Natchaug Valley Community Health Agency.
Representative Gary Holder-Winfield of New Haven represents the 94th Assembly District of New Haven, having been elected to the position in 2008. He serves as the House vice-chairman of the Judiciary Committee and as chair of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus. Originally from the Bronx, Representative Holder-Winfield credits his experience of growing up in a tough environment, his father succumbing to drugs, and watching his mother struggle as a single parent as being the sources of his passion for social justice. He was the lead sponsor of the successful legislation abolishing the death penalty in Connecticut this session and he also fought to pass an anti-discrimination law in 2011 believing that the issue of discrimination against transgendered people was of utmost importance. He led the debate on legislation to correct issues in the Racial Profiling Prohibition Act and was recognized as a “Children’s Champion” by the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance for showing a strong commitment to early children issues. A leader on issues of campaign finance and education reform, Representative Holder-Winfield graduated from Southern Connecticut State University and currently works for the Connecticut State University chapter of the American Association of University Professors.
Matthew Vezina, BSW of East Lyme graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University in May at which time he was also inducted into Phi Alpha, the Social Work Honor Society. Matthew started his college career as a computer science major but, after volunteering at the McSweeny Regional Senior Center in Willimantic, he discovered social work and began a trajectory of high academic achievement, service to the community, increasingly skillful social work practice, and a realization that it is his passion to work with people in need. His professors found him to be an exemplary student, a natural leader, a critical thinker, and a pleasure to know. President of the Social Work Club, he volunteered at Windham’s homeless shelter, worked on a team to develop awareness and promote change regarding problem gambling on campus, interned as a residential care provider with persons who are chronically mentally ill, all while being a student and maintaining his job as a customer service associate at Lowe’s. Matt’s understanding of, and empathy with, his clients, his abiding sense of the mission of social work, and his eloquence in describing this mission have set him apart in his undergraduate career. Before pursuing his MSW, Matthew is moving to Wisconsin to work in an AmeriCorps placement called Community Homestead, an intentional, farm-based, community for persons with cognitive and emotional challenges. He looks forward to this experience as an opportunity to “give back” and expand his life experience before reentering the academic world.
Kia Levey, MSW of New Haven graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work in May with a concentration in Policy Practice. Prior to obtaining her MSW, Kia worked for 10 years in New Haven’s non-profit sector, working on behalf of vulnerable populations that struggled against systemic poverty. She brought this wealth of experience to her graduate studies where she proved to be an insightful, engaging, outstanding student. Kia spearheaded several initiatives at the Nancy A. Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work; she was instrumental in organizing the regional training to prepare social workers for campaigns and political office; and she was active in state public hearings on Education Reform and Juvenile Justice. Kia worked closely with Representative Toni Walker to better serve youth who have been impacted by poverty and failed school systems, all while continuing her civic engagement in her community by serving on many boards. She is able to engage people with confidence, clarity, and enthusiasm, always open to sharing her experiences while remaining open to new ideas. She was recently awarded the Nancy Tarr Berdon Scholarship which is awarded to a student dedicated to working with the poor. Her professors see her as a social work leader with limitless future potential for her past work experiences combined with her recent professional development in policy practice have strengthened her capacities to advocate within the public sphere and to contribute to the field of social work driven by her commitment to social justice.
Julianne Wayne, ED.D, MSW of Avon is an Associate Professor and director of the Field Education Program at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. A scholar and educator of extraordinary ability and dedication, Dr. Wayne’s career in social work spans close to fifty years, from her work with the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston, to Boston University School of Social Work, to her position at UCONN. She has taught students, field instructors, supervisors, and direct practitioners and is regularly invited to present at professional conferences and other Universities. Her teaching focuses on group work and her reputation as an outstanding teacher is a reflection of her expertise, dedication, and ability to bring together theoretical and practice-based knowledge for students. As the Director of Field Education at UCONN, field education has been enhanced, strengthening its position in the MSW program and within the professional community. Dr. Wayne initiated with two of her colleagues the New England Consortium of Field Directors (NECON) which is a forum for identifying the major issues and challenges facing field education today. She has published on many aspects of social work practice and was recently honored for her co-authored article “Field Education as the Signature Pedagogy of Social Work Education” chosen by the Journal of Social Work Education as the JSWE Best Conceptual Article of 2010. Dr. Wayne contributes in many areas of service to the University, her profession, and the community. Her energy as an organizer, a presenter, a supervisor, a board member, a committee member, a host for field instructors from other countries and an educator have made her an inspiration to students and her faculty colleagues alike. Nationally recognized for her scholarship, greatly respected as an educational administrator, appreciated for her accessibility and sense of humor, and admired for her diplomacy she has impacted the lives and educations of hundreds of social workers. She is described as the quintessential Social Work Educator, a person who embodies this award by caring deeply for her students and being a leader among her peers.
Eugene Hickey, LCSW of Glastonbury is a recent retiree from the Institute of Living having worked for thirty years in various capacities at Hartford Hospital and the Institute. Gene’s career is one of exemplary work as a social worker and as a role model for students and other professionals. As Director of Social Work and overseer of the social work internship program, he served as a mentor for several generations of social workers. In his numerous clinical administration positions at the Institute of Living, he established and maintained standards of excellence for the staff and those students fortunate enough to intern with him. As Program Director of Geriatric Services at the IOL Gene helped to create a model for the State, reaching out to the community in the Greater Hartford area. His deep commitment to ethical practice and client protection led to his serving on the National Committee on Inquiry which developed many of the standards for the practice of social work that guide us to this day. There are few who have contributed to NASW and the Connecticut Chapter in quite the same way as Gene. He served as President of the Chapter, co-chaired the PACE Committee, was National NASW Treasurer, served on numerous planning committees, and chaired the coalition of social work groups that worked to effect third party payments—in a state where the bill was opposed by the insurance industry! The leadership displayed in the social work vendorship movement, resulting in increased credibility and security of the social work profession as a legitimate mental health provider , laid the foundation for certification and, ultimately, licensure of clinical social workers. The impact of this initiative on the profession has been extraordinary and social workers throughout Connecticut owe a debt of gratitude to Gene and his fellow pioneers for their foresight and dogged determination to place social work on an equal footing with other behavioral health professionals. While for some the Code of Ethics is an abstract document, in Gene’s case it provides the template for his work. His intellect and perspective, his tireless work on behalf of all social workers, the accumulation of years of experience, and his skill as a clinician make him a valued asset in our community of social workers. There may be no “retirement” for this retiree… only additional contributions to his profession.