The City of Wenatchee hopes to see a nice turnout for the Wenatchee Valley Uplift Awards later this month.

The city partners with the North Central Washington Equity Alliance and the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center to highlight community impact work in diversity, equity and inclusion.

For their work in 2022, city executive services director Laura Gloria says eight people and one foundation were nominated.

"The criteria is that the individual or the organization must reside or conduct business in the Wenatchee area. Their work should have a significant impact on the lives of specific populations." Gloria said.

The nominees are:

Catherine Houser:  Catherine is a fierce advocate for the LGBQTQIA+ community. She serves as Treasurer on the board of Wenatchee Pride and is a family law attorney at the Northwest Justice Project.

Elisa Lopez: Elisa served as the Project Director for Team Naturaleza, an organization that engages Latinx/Hispanic bilingual communities in informal natural science education to achieve a healthier community by getting people safely outdoors.

Indigenous Roots & Reparation Foundation: The Indigenous Roots & Reparation Foundation's primary goal is to create a safe community space for all Indigenous Peoples to gather and create an equitable platform for Indigenous Voices.

Ivon Lopez Ramirez: Ivon serves at the President of Parque Padrinos in Wenatchee and volunteers her time to organize cultural celebrations that uplift the visibility of Mexican and Latino/x traditions in our valley.

Lincoln Nere: Lincoln is the President of Wenatchee Pride where he organizes events, interviews for grants, works with queer youth and numerous other activities with the goal of creating a safe and welcoming place for the LGBQTQIA2S+ community.

Mary Big Bull-Lewis: Mary empowers indigenous people every day by supporting numerous native owned small businesses, educating the public about indigenous culture, and standing up for other disadvantaged groups.

Norma Gallegos: As the program Director at Hand in Hand Immigration Services, Norma shares her passion and love for serving immigrants from all countries and backgrounds on the North Central Washington area. She believes that we all have equal participation in learning from each other and valuing multiple cultures.

Steve Maher: Steve is the Coordinator for Our Valley, Our Future but goes above and beyond his role to support community building.  Steve sees potential in what is possible for Wenatchee if bridges are built and champions for community togetherness throughout all facets of his work.

Teresa Bendito: Teresa Bendito is a community organizer and co‐founder of Parque Padrinos, a grassroots community organization that leads park advocacy, relationship building, and culturally relevant outdoor experiences in South Wenatchee, Washington.

The Wenatchee Valley Uplift Awards underwent a name change. It used to be called the “Social Justice and Civil Rights” Awards.

The nominees will be announced on January 14th at the annual Multi-Cultural Fest at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center.

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