2020 Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission Award Recipients

The Rosenthal Community Champion Award is given to individuals in the public sector who have fostered and supported human rights, concepts, and ideals. This year’s recipients are Sean O’Brien and Dierdre Arvidson.

Sean O’Brien who leads the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment and Barnstable County Regional Emergency Preparedness Committee, and Dierdre Arvidson, Public Health Nurse, will share this award for being instrumental in establishing test sites for the coronavirus and for arranging a flu vaccine clinic at the Barnstable County campus.

The Cornerstone Award is given to individuals who have fostered and supported human rights, concepts, and ideals. This year’s recipients are Larry and Atsuko Fish.

Larry and Atsuko Fish donated much needed funds to assist immigrant families on Cape Cod affected by the coronavirus. Over the years, the couple have been involved with numerous nonprofit organizations focusing on immigrants and youth.

The Tim McCarthy Human Rights Champion Award is given to an individual or organization working to promote human rights. This year’s recipients are Nauset H.S. Human Rights Group and Faculty Advisor Lisa Brown

The Nauset Regional High School Human Rights Group, and its long-time faculty advisor Lisa Brown, are honored for their many years of active engagement in human rights work and for spreading their message to other students through exhibits and presentations.

Unsung Heroes: Celebrating the Strength of our Communities

This special recognition is given to essential frontline workers and organizations who are dedicated to servicing communities on Cape Cod. Their work goes largely unnoticed but is central to our communal sense of well-being during the coronavirus pandemic. Awardees are: 

Champ Homes Inc.Adam Burnett, and staff – providing transitional housing to adults on Cape Cod who are homeless, shelter, education and supplies for keeping safe during this pandemic. 

Elder Services Cape Cod and Islands: Meals on Wheels volunteers – preparing meals for pick up at satellite drive thru stations and home delivery of food to elderly shut-ins during this pandemic.  Thank you to the additional group of volunteers who stepped in to relieve seniors and others with pre-existing conditions, ensuring the safety and well-being of the community.

AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, mobile outreach workers, drop-in center staff, case managers outreach specialists, volunteers, and all support staff– ASGCC primarily works with people who use drugs and people living with HIV/AIDS.  They save lives through prevention, education and life-sustaining services that address public health crises to build healthy communities across the Cape and Islands. We extend our thanks for their invaluable ongoing services throughout Cape Cod, especially through this pandemic.

YMCA, Children’s Crossing Child Care Program, all staff, childcare workers, and volunteers- have provided ongoing childcare and early development services for families of essential workers during this pandemic.

Community Health Center of Cape Cod, all staff- who have provided accessible and ongoing quality medical care and substance use services and behavioral health services throughout this pandemic helping to ensure safety and maintain the health of our community.

League of Women Voters Cape Cod and Falmouth, Voter Services committees members- tireless and creative volunteer efforts to ensure outreach and engagement of Cape Cod’s diverse communities, remote areas and vulnerable citizens including incarcerated individuals, providing voter education, registration, and support for maximum turnout.  We are especially grateful for the LWV support and education of safe voting procedures during this pandemic.

Cape Cod Commission US Census workers – tireless door to door outreach and engagement of Cape Cod’s diverse communities, remote areas, and vulnerable citizens during this pandemic to ensure everyone was counted.

Cape Cod USP mail carriers and office workers /FedEx, UPS drivers and warehouse workers- ongoing delivery of mail and essentials, ensuring uninterrupted mail services throughout this pandemic.

Duffy Health Center, all staff –The center focuses its work on people experiencing homelessness.  These populations are at increased risk due to COVID.  The staff have provided accessible and ongoing quality medical care and substance use services and behavioral health services throughout this pandemic helping to ensure safety and the health of our community.

Tara Vargas Wallace, Amplify POC Cape Cod, Executive Director and Founder -Tara is a volunteer community organizer, activist and civil rights advocate who has worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic ensuring equal rights for residents, leading BLM events, voter initiatives and founding Cape Cod’s first listing of people-of-color owned businesses.

Cape Cod Council of Churches/ Faith’s Family Kitchen, Jeni Wheeler, staff, and volunteers serving hot, nutritious meals feeding those less fortunate in our community a few times per week throughout this pandemic. Thank you for your AMAZING work!

Cape Cod Health Care, Walgreens, and CVS pharmacies employees – provided uninterrupted essential goods, health supplies and medicines to the community while ensuring the safety of the public throughout this pandemic.

Barnstable Ally Group and founder Krissie Williams – dedicated to the uplifting of marginalized people and assisting in the battle against overt racism and microaggression. They educate and empower allies that will change the world and have continued their community engagement events through this pandemic.

Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod, Cape Cod Health Care staff (including nurses, licensed therapists, hospice workers and health care aides) – continued to provide quality services of home therapy, hospice, and nursing care for the most vulnerable residents of cape cod ensuring their recovery, and well-being throughout this pandemic.

The Woodlands at Pleasant Bay Assisted Living residence staff in Brewster (including all staff)- the amazing, dedicated workers have worked hard to ensure quality, dignified care in a safe and respectful environment. They have been very dedicated to the residents throughout this pandemic.

Pleasant Bay Skilled Nursing & Rehab staff-the amazing, dedicated workers have worked hard to ensure quality, dignified care in a safe and respectful environment. They have been very dedicated to the residents throughout this pandemic.

Airport Taxi Medical transport drivers, Medical transportation services- provided uninterrupted transportation services for the public.  Especially transporting patients with special medical needs, elders, community members with substance abuse and disabilities throughout this pandemic. Also offering support to the Emergency Medical Services for Cape Cod residents throughout this pandemic and transpiring people to drive-through COVID-19 testing sites.

Stop and Shop, Shaw’s, Trader Joe’s and local markets, grocery workers- provided uninterrupted services to ensure access to food and provisions throughout this pandemic. Often going above and beyond regular duties and working overtime stocking shelves, managing high volumes of shoppers while implementing safety guidelines and providing physical assistance to elderly and needy customers.

Staff of Independence House – provides free and confidential services and widespread programs for children and adults who are survivors of or impacted by domestic or sexual violence.  Independence House has continually responded to increased domestic and sexual violence throughout this pandemic providing safety options, counseling, education, and awareness about prevention.