NYRA is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2011 NYRA Awards! The Awards were created last year to recognize significant contributions to the field of youth rights, both for and against. The three awards are the Youth Rights Progress Award, the NYRA Achievement Award and Ageist of the Year Award. The Youth Rights Progress Award honors the person or group that has done the most to advance the rights, equality and empowerment of youth, and this year’s four nominees are: the Cambridge Kids Council & the United Teen Equality Center for their work to lower the voting age in Massachusetts, Marc Ecko and his Unlimited Justice campaign for their work to stop corporal punishment in school, the anonymous online activists who successfully shut down the abusive behavior modification program, Elan, and the students who wore I (Heart) Boobies bracelets to spread awareness about breast cancer despite efforts by their school to ban the bracelets.
The second award, NYRA Achievement Award is awarded to the person or group that has contributed the most toward the success of the National Youth Rights Association. Three candidates were chosen: Usiel Phoenix for her active involvement in many NYRA campaigns this year including testifying for legislation in DC, Texas and Massachusetts and building NYRA-NYU, Nigel Jones for leading successful campaigns this year to remove the Mosquito device from the DC metro and stopping an ageist policy at a Giant grocery store, and Chris Hardy who created a student defense program at his high school and successfully defended many students before the school board and restored his school’s student council after it was disbanded.
Finally, four Ageist of the Year Award nominees were named, recognizing the person or group that contributed the most toward the prevalence of negative opinions toward young people or toward impeding the cause of youth rights, they are: Amy Chua whose book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, advocated a very strict, authoritarian way of raising children, Laurence Steinberg, who is a main proponent of the disastrous myth that teen brains are inferior, Senator Eric Adams who widely encouraged parents to search through the rooms and possessions of their children, and Bruce Ratner owner of the property who installed the ear splitting Mosquito device in DC to drive away teenage ‘pests’.
The NYRA Board of Directors will decide on winners at their July meeting and the award will be presented on July 30 at the 2011 NYRA Annual Meeting.