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Honoring the YEOs who have gone above and beyond to serve the Network, their constituents and the Progressive movement
Each year, the YEO Network selects a few YEOs who have gone above and beyond in their service to the Network, their constituents and the Progressive movement as a whole. These YEOs have distinguished themselves in their dedication to public service. The YEO Network is honored to have these outstanding leaders as active members of the Network.
Barbara Jordan Leadership Award – State Representative Dwight Bullard (Florida)
Barbara Jordan, co-founder of People For the American Way Foundation, was a true visionary and public servant. Serving as the first African-American woman in the Texas State Legislature, and the first African-American US Congresswoman from the Deep South, she championed voting rights and the causes of the poor, the disadvantaged, and people of color. While serving on the Judiciary Committee during the Watergate hearings, she rose to national prominence with her impassioned speeches about the Constitution, stating, “My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total.”
This award honors Congresswoman Jordan’s dedication to public service and our country by recognizing an outstanding young elected official who is following in her footsteps. The Barbara Jordan Leadership Award is given to a YEO who has shown dedication and support to the YEO Network and has a distinguished record of public service to their community and the progressive movement at large.
The Barbara Jordan Leadership Award is the Network’s highest award and the recipient is elected by the full membership of the Network.
State Representative Dwight Bullard:
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and raised in the Richmond Heights community in Miami, Florida, Representative Dwight Bullard serves in the Florida Legislature, following the footsteps of his parents, Florida State Senator Larcenia Bullard and former Florida State Representative Edward Bullard. Since 2000, Rep. Bullard has been a teacher at Coral Reef Senior High School in Miami until he was sworn into office in 2008. He received his Bachelors of Science in History Education at Florida A&M University. Representative Bullard was named democratic ranking member of the preK-12 education policy committee after his first term and became most recently Democrat ranking member of the education committee. Bullard was a member of the justice appropriations subcommittee, the k-20 competitiveness subcommittee, the agriculture and natural resources subcommittee, and the criminal justice subcommittee for the 2011 legislative session and a member of higher education appropriation subcommittee for the 2012 legislative session. During the 2012 session Bullard sponsored legislation to provide in-state tuition rates to undocumented students. Representative Bullard is a member of the 2012 YEO Network Empowering and Educating Communities Policy Council.
YEO Network Leadership Award – School Board Member Marlon McWilson (Oakland, California)
School Board Member Marlon McWilson
The YEO Network Leadership Award recognizes a YEO who has shown great dedication to the Network during the year through support and leadership.
Marlon McWilson is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where he played football on an athletic scholarship. During McWilson’s tenure at UC Berkeley, he realized his calling to education, community work and mentorship. He was an integral part of a mentoring program at McClymonds High School in West Oakland through Stiles Hall. These experiences led him to enter the teaching profession in the Oakland Unified School District, where he taught at the elementary and high school levels. Currently, McWilson is a business owner in Oakland and the associate academic liaison for Cal Football.
McWilson has served the Network tirelessly over the past few years. He is a constant participant on YEO Teleconferences, an active member of the Educating Communities Policy Council, the organizer of the YEO Convening party, a trainer at this year’s National Convening and many other important activities for the Network.
Public Service Leadership Award – State Representative Kevin Killer (South Dakota)
The Service to the Community Award honors a YEO who has gone above and beyond for their constituents. Recipients of this award distinguish themselves as tireless public servants who go beyond good legislation to help their community.
State Representative Kevin Killer
Currently in his second term, State Representative Kevin Killer was elected in 2008, and serves on the Education and Judiciary Committees. He remains concerned about the restrictions on tribal gaming in South Dakota and is interested in restorative justice processes as a means of keeping young offenders in school and out of the criminal justice system. Killer is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and was the president of the student senate and a member of the board of trustees for Oglala Lakota College. In 2006, he was director of Native American outreach for South Dakotans Against Discrimination, fighting for civil union protections in South Dakota. In 2004, Killer worked for U.S. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle as a field organizer on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Killer is a graduate of YEO Network’s Front Line Leaders Academy.
Killer has advocated tirelessly for his constituents and the members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. The tribe’s unique challenges, needs and interests required Killer to work through both legislative and constituent service channels. Killer has fought extremely high unemployment in his district, the Keystone XL pipeline which threatened the water resources of his district and numerous other challenges on behalf of his constituents.
Progressive Movement Leadership Award – State Representative Rashida Tlaib
A daughter of Palestinian immigrants, Representative Rashida Tlaib made history by becoming the first Muslim woman elected to the Michigan Legislature. Tlaib was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2008. She was born and raised in Southwest Detroit. Tlaib is the eldest of 14 and knows the importance of hard work, honesty and commitment to the community. As a resident of Detroit and a product of Detroit Public Schools, she is committed to working to create a safer, cleaner, and stronger community for all of us. Representative Tlaib has distinguished herself with her tireless work ethic and visibility on a multitude of issues that affect her district. She is the only legislator that operates a fully-staffed community-based service center that provides over 10 anti-poverty programs.
Tlaib received national attention over the past year while fighting on behalf of Muslims and immigrants. When Lowe’s cancelled their advertisements on the show “All American Muslim” Tlaib became a leading spokeswoman against the discriminatory decision.
Brief: Norman Lear and YEO Network honored at the Kennedy Center [Incld Photo]
People for The American Way Foundation hosted a gala honoring the YEO Network and Norman Lear’s 90th birthday. The gala was an impressive affair with numerous notables in attendance, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator Al Franken, Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairman Congressman Keith Ellison, and many more.
The gala featured YEO members who have led the way on policies around the country, remarks from Norman Lear and Andrew Gillum. The event was a tremendous success and shined a light on the achievements of the YEO Network and its members.