The Fairfax County Human Rights Commission presented its 33rd annual Human Rights Awards at a ceremony May 15, 2012, at Fairfax County Government Center’s Forum. The guest speaker was Mr. Greg Scarlatoiu, Executive Director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK).
The 2011 award winners are:
Northern Virginia Resource Center
The Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC) works to reduce disability discrimination in Fairfax County by providing resources, education, advocacy to remove barriers against those with the inability to hear, hear well, or communicate vocally. Deaf and hard of hearing people who live and work in Fairfax County are enabled to achieve full community involvement, most especially as citizens exercising their right to “hear and be heard” in county government proceedings, as a direct result of NVRC’s initiatives. NVRC works with diverse groups to ensure events such as the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meetings are close captioned on video monitors and cable broadcasts which also benefit those for whom English is a second language. NVRC has collaborated with educational institutions, Fairfax Office of Emergency Management, Medical Reserve Corps, Public Safety, and organizations that manage public transportation in the County. Their efforts include educating leaders in critical areas on building awareness for the challenges faced by those with hearing difficulties, and for organizations’ legal obligations to provide reasonable accommodation. Their collaborative approach has built in-roads to foster long term relationships between County services and deaf and hard of hearing persons that enhance the quality of life for all. For more about NVRC, visit www.nvrc.org
Others receiving awards were: Tahirih Justice Center, based in Falls Church, whose staff and volunteers provide life-saving, holistic legal services to woman and girls fleeing gender-based violence and seeking justice; and Marlene Blum who has been awarded the Virginia Peters Fair Housing Award for her decades of advocacy for the homeless and near homeless of Fairfax County.