The Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council presents The Climate for Freedom Award at the annual Human Rights Day Breakfast biannually. The award was conceived in 1995 in order to recognize a local group’s efforts and achievements in advancing human rights at the local level. The criteria for the award includes at least one of the following: advocacy to protect the rights of a specially disadvantaged group or victims of a human rights crime; reaching out and including a minority group in its programs; promoting cross-cultural understanding; or, promoting understanding and accord between parties in conflict. With this award, the Human Rights Council fosters and recognizes needed social change that occurs at the organizational level.
This year the award will be presented to The Greeley Foundation for their steady and ongoing commitment to peace, justice and understanding. The Greeley Foundation was founded in 1986 to honor the Reverend Dana McLean Greeley, a beloved minister who served many years at The First Parish Church in Concord, and to carry on his message of peace and justice. By providing seed funding to grassroots, nonprofit organizations that engage in the healthy development of at-risk youth in the Greater Boston area, the Greeley Foundation has quietly and effectively impacted the growth of programs that reach out to young people of different racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Over 1.5 million dollars has been distributed to a multitude of community-based groups, focusing on supporting programs that bring people of different backgrounds together — enhancing communication and understanding, and long-lasting connections.
The simple and uncomplicated commitment to peace as a result of understanding has been the cornerstone of The Greeley Foundation mission. Motivated by Rev. Greeley’s words, “if we have faith that love and right are stronger than hate and might, then we need to act accordingly,” the generous individuals who donate to the Foundation have contributed directly to a climate of freedom.
Given the increasing diversity of our own community and the ongoing turbulence in our country and the world around issues of race, religion, and ethnic differences, the work of The Greeley Foundation and other groups devoted to peace and understanding is especially important. The best possible place to begin is locally and with our youth by giving them the programs and the tools to understand one another and to hope for a better future in peace.
It is with great enthusiasm and pleasure that we recognize the contributions and special achievements of The Greeley Foundation over the last 30 years. Please join us at the Human Rights Day Breakfast on December 4th, 7:30am, at the First Parish Church in Concord.