The McSilver Institute Announces the 2014 McSilver Awardees

May 2, 2014

The McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research will host its second annual McSilver Awards on May 28, 2014, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The Awards will celebrate individuals and organizations making substantial contributions toward addressing the needs of children and families living in poverty locally and globally. This year’s recipients are the Honorable Ruben Diaz, Jr., Jonathan P. Edwards, Andrea Elliott, Pedro Antonio Noguera, and Commissioner Rosemonde Pierre-Louis. Learn more about the event and register to attend.

The 2014 Awardees:

Honorable Ruben Diaz, Jr.

Ruben Diaz, Jr. first entered public office as a member of the New York State Assembly in 1997, and is currently serving his second full term as Bronx borough president. As borough president, he has led the implementation of a “New Bronx” agenda on economic development, housing, education, and public safety. The Bronx has seen over $5.7 billion in new development since Borough President Diaz took office in 2009. This includes more than $600 million in housing and nearly 13,000 new units. Diaz has proven himself to be a fearless and tireless advocate for justice and equality for all. A staunch defender of the environment, he is a leading voice against environmental racism and injustice and helped lead the fight to restore the Bronx River. The borough president has also implemented several bold health initiatives, including the Bronx CAN—Changing Attitudes Now—program, which aims to make small changes leading to greater health improvements in the long term. He graduated from Lehman College, City University of New York, with a BA in political theory. Diaz is also the recipient of honorary doctoral degrees in civil law from Berkeley College and Mercy College, and a doctoral degree in humane letters from the Metropolitan College of New York. A lifelong resident of the Bronx, Diaz lives in the Southeast Bronx with his wife and their two sons.

Jonathan P. Edwards

Jonathan P. Edwards is the training specialist for Parachute NYC, a federally funded project within the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Through his advocacy and involvement in the behavioral health field for over ten years, and driven by his personal experience with the mental health system, Edwards has played an integral role facilitating individual and system-wide change through programming and planning, clinical practice, training, and supervision. In his recent position as director of peer services and assistant director of wellness, recovery, and community integration at Kings County Hospital Center (KCHC), he oversaw daily operations of peer services and supervised an unprecedented 24 peer counselors in a single NYC hospital. He has been instrumental to developing and facilitating multi-family groups to support the relatives and friends of individuals who utilized inpatient services. He earned Green-level certification in Lean methodology and served as team leader for a rapid improvement event to define, operationalize, and implement wellness and recovery principles and practices within behavioral health services at KCHC. He is also involved with the Community Access Howie the Harp Advocacy Center as a peer training program instructor. Edwards has presented nationally and internationally on supervision, culture change, and recovery-oriented practice. He is a NYS Licensed Master Social Worker and a doctoral candidate in the social welfare program at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College through the CUNY Graduate School & University Center.

Andrea Elliott

Andrea Elliott is an investigative reporter for The New York Times. Her three-part series, “An Imam in America,” was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize. In 2013, Elliott published “Invisible Child,” a five-part series that chronicled the life of an 11-year-old homeless girl, winning the George Polk award for local reporting and the Scripps Howard award for human interest reporting. Elliott has reported extensively on Islam in a post-9/11 America and wrote in-depth stories on the black-immigrant divide, the radicalization of Somalis in Minneapolis, and the rise of the anti-shariah movement. One of her cover stories for The New York Times Magazine on Moroccan suicide bombers was a finalist for the 2008 National Magazine Award. Elliott has received honors from the Overseas Press Club, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the New York Press Club. Her work has been featured in “Best Newspaper Writing” and “Islam for Journalists: A Primer on Covering Muslim American Communities in America.” Elliott was raised in Washington, DC, by a Chilean mother and an American father. A graduate of Occidental College, she graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 1999, where she was class valedictorian. Before joining The Times, Elliott spent three years as a reporter at the Miami Herald. She and her husband, Tim Golden, live with their two daughters in New York City.

Pedro Antonio Noguera

Pedro Antonio Noguera is the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University. He holds tenured faculty appointments in the departments of teaching and learning and humanities and social sciences at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Development at NYU. He is also the executive director of the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools. Noguera is the author of eight books and over 150 articles and monographs. His most recent books include School for Resilience: Improving the Life Trajectory of African American and Latino Boys, Creating the Opportunity to Learn, and Invisible No More: Understanding and Responding to the Disenfranchisement of Latino Males. Noguera appears as a regular commentator on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and other national news outlets. He serves on the boards of numerous national and local organizations including the Economic Policy Institute, the Young Women’s Leadership Institute, The After School Corporation, and The Nation Magazine. In 2013, he received an award for exemplary scholarship on urban education from the Advanced Center for Behavioral Sciences.

Commissioner Rosemonde Pierre-Louis

Rosemonde Pierre-Louis was appointed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as the commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence in January 2014. From 2006-2013, she served as Manhattan deputy borough president and was responsible for overseeing several of the Office’s key initiatives related to transportation, domestic violence, food justice and security, sustainability, the environment, criminal justice, and the unprecedented reform of Manhattan’s 12 Community Boards. She was the architect of Borough President Scott Stringer’s Go Green sustainability initiatives in East Harlem, Washington Heights, Inwood, and the Lower East Side. Pierre-Louis was also the impetus behind The Politics of Food Conference and subsequent report Food in the Public Interest as well as the creation of the NYC Sustainable Food Charter. Pierre-Louis spent 20 years as a public interest and legal services attorney representing low-income and working poor litigants as well as survivors of domestic violence throughout the New York State court system. She has also been widely recognized as an advocate, educator, and attorney for women’s and immigrant’s rights, underserved communities, and survivors of domestic violence.

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