WENATCHEE – Each year, the Wenatchee Diversity Advisory Council honors individuals, groups or organizations for their civil and social contributions to our community. Honorees will be announced and presented with the award at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. event which will be held on Saturday, January 13 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the Museum, 129 South Mission, Wenatchee, WA 98801. The awards will be presented at 10:15 AM.
Marcia (Marcy) Ruth Ostrom
Marcia is the head of the Dept. of Environmental Studies at the WSU Tree Fruit Research Center. Her academic experience includes degrees from Harvard, Cornell and University of Wisconsin (PhD). She is an advocate for farmers. She has provided scholarships for fifteen Latino farmers from the Wenatchee and Quincy area to be able to attend the Tilth Farming Conference. She has sponsored numerous Farm Walks in the community where farmers get to other farms as a means of improving their own practices. She helps farmers become organic which moves them from substance living to a decent standard of living. She has helped Farmer’s Markets better equip themselves as stewards of their communities. She is presently on the board of the Leavenworth Farmer’s Market). She especially enjoys working with under-represented parts of our community.
Jesse Coen works at Confluence health and has participated in Night in a Box for 3-4 years along with her daughter. She has brought a face to the struggle of homelessness, she is able to convey the small things we can do that will make a large impact for someone in the situation. Jesse has gone on to be a member of the YWCA Board of Directors. She is currently the committee chair for Done in a Day with JSLW. This committee is crucial for many of the activities that help ease the difficulties for the homeless population. She directs the collection and distribution of toiletries, organizes the 2017 Diaper Drive, assists with the Coats for Kids and so much more. Jesse is a person of color and appreciates the issues of diversity. She is the face of courage in an often misunderstood set of circumstances.
Terry Valdez was raised in South Wenatchee and was an art educator for many years with the Eastmont School District. Terry has taken on a community stewardship role for work in South Wenatchee and is leading/guiding fantastic work year after year. Terry was instrumental in the highly successful “I Imagine” South Wenatchee visioning that occurred in 2012. Terry has since helped the city with implementation of that vision by engaging the neighborhood with utilizing art as the medium to bring forth the spirit of the community in the Chelan Avenue sidewalk projects. Terry is making a difference through his ability to honor people and their neighborhood. Terry’s work and engagement efforts have built confidence amongst South Wenatchee residents.
YWCA makes an impact on civil rights and social justice by providing services to those in need. By following their mission statement the YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. In 2015 YWCA NCW began its annual Sand Against Racism awareness event. For over 8 years has provided homeless housing assistance to women with children and chronically homeless households. Provides job training to underprivileged community members at no cost. YWCA is inclusive of all people from all walks of life.
Columbia Valley Community Health
The mission of Columbia Valley Community Health is to provide access to improved health and wellness with compassion and respect for all. In 2016 CVCH served 26,000 patients, 56% whom were Hispanic/Latino. Also provided health care to 532 homeless individuals. CVCH lives their mission providing high quality healthcare, no one is turned away for their inability to pay. CVCH provides at migrant camps, packing sheds, culturally appropriate care.
The Numerica PAC’s “Every Kid at the PAC” program is creating opportunities for students throughout the Wenatchee Valley and the region to experience the arts at either the PAC or in a program delivered to their school. The PAC brings world class performers and expose kids to the creativity, joy and culture that can help them connect with the work around them. Matt Cadman’s vision of the PAC as a “Community center with a stage”.
The Wenatchee World has been in operation for over 100 years providing fact based reporting of politics and local events. Rufus Woods has led an effort through his Art of Community column, to highlight those individuals, businesses and organizations in our community that are working to cross barriers to bring people together to effect change. This has led to the development of the CiVIL program to be carried out by the Diversity Council and Wenatchee World. The Art of Community column has highlighted those who are working to bring us together and celebrate them and about celebrating the dignity of people that can be enhanced by building the broader perspectives of our community.
Makenna is the founder of the Makspire Foundation, she is clearly making an impact on the lives of children with serious medical conditions so that they can better enjoy their childhood. She has been a caring leader through all of the projects she has started and has had an impact on bettering the care of patients at Children’s Hospital. Makenna’s 2017 Make a Difference Day project raised over $47,000 and will help remodel the new healthcare center at Camp Korey. Camp Korey empowers children and families living with serious medical conditions through year-round, life changing experiences, always free of charge.
Fredeline is the President for the Associated Students of Wenatchee Valley College. Freddie has been a part of the student Senate for 3 years. She has attended the Students of Color Conference two times and has worked on projects such as the Uknight campaign to promote acceptance and inclusion at WVC. Freddie is often the voice for students who are underrepresented and she is always advocating for WVC to be inclusive and equitable. She has participated in legislative initiatives at the WA State capital to promote Community Colleges which, as we know, often serve low income and diverse students.
Luz is a student from Latin America who is the president of the Queer Straight Alliance club at Wenatchee Valley College. Luz is a strong advocate for LGBTQIA rights and provides a very welcoming environment in the QA club ay WVC. She has also been a part of the Diversity Council in the past and truly believes in giving back to her community through social justice advocacy.