Echo Award Winners - 2010

Clark Harper has built social capital in our community through the use of technology, with his innovative Event-O-Rama web community calendar. When the use of the Internet became prevalent in the late nineties, Clark used his skills as a computer programmer and web developer, and created Event-O-Rama, allowing nonprofit and community groups to post their events in a free form listing, allowing them to publicize their activities over the Internet free-of-charge. While the Event-O-Rama Web site has just been retired, it provided the essential community groundwork for community-building sites such as the recently-launched Web site – Putting technology in motion to serve the good of the community, Clark Harper has proven that Everyone Can Help Out – by spreading social capital in a way that may not be so obvious – by connecting individuals and community organizations for over 10 years, he has contributed to a much more vibrant and open Winston-Salem. Clark was nominated by Jeff Smith.

Sue Kent has built bridging social capital by bringing together diverse racial and religious community members to participate in four Habitat for Humanity house builds over nine years. As coordinator of the first build in 2000, Sue led six Christian churches (including three predominantly African-American and three predominantly white congregations), the Jewish temple and the Muslim mosque to plan and build a Habitat House together. This 2000 build was later awarded the Clarence E. Jordan Award from Habitat International as the first such interfaith and interracial build in the nation. For the second build in 2002, joint fundraisers including a youth-led talent night and a unity walk were added, and subsequent builds occurred in 2006 and 2009. In her quiet, gracious and persistent way, Sue has helped to build trust between and awareness of the enriching variety of faiths and races in Winston-Salem as so many worked together to help families achieve their goals of homeownership. Sue was nominated by Stephen McCutchan.

Lynn Rhoades and Nathan Ross Freeman have built bridging social capital as co-founders of Authoring Action. Formerly known as the Winston-Salem Youth Arts Institute, Authoring Action offers programs to foster positive youth development by redefining learning and increasing their connection to the community through the arts. Following participation in a five-week long Summer Institute, youth (ranging in age from 12 to 18) become members of a performance outreach ensemble, dedicated to building bridges between youth and adults who most affect their lives, as well as between youth of diverse backgrounds. Authoring Action has built a six-year relationship with the Winston-Salem Police Department by offering cultural diversity workshops to the Department’s Rookie School to foster positive relationships between police and youth. This is just one example of how Authoring Action is positively reconnecting youth who have been disconnected from the larger community by virtue of race, socioeconomic status and other factors. Lynn and Nathan were nominated by Brooke Smith.

Seeds of Love for Errol has built social capital in our community from its inception as a grass-roots fundraiser within the Washington Park neighborhood. Seeds of Love sprouted when neighbors came together to figure out how to help a neighborhood family experiencing extraordinary medical bills due to their child Errol’s chronic illness. What started out as a simple effort to plant a community garden and sell the produce evolved into multiple community gardens, a community day, nutritionists teaching families how to plan healthy meals, and a special evening with a dinner and concert for Errol. While Errol is no longer with us, Seeds of Love for Errol continues to grow to benefit the diverse neighborhood and its residents in ways both philanthropic and social capital-building. A nature trail is being planned, more gardens are being planted to feed one other, and neighbors will continue to work together as they nurture the community and its residents. Eddie Ingle will be accepting the award on behalf of Seeds of Love for Errol, and the group was nominated by Errol’s father, Jonathan Milner.

Winston-Salem State University Black Men for Change has built bridging social capital through their volunteer efforts as young community leaders. This student organization was founded six years ago to help empower young predominately African-American males to rise above negative stereotypes and become productive assets to our community.   Members have volunteered with numerous community organizations and initiatives, including the Winston-Salem Symphony, Piedmont Craftsmen, and AIDS Care Service just to name a few.   These efforts have resulted in strong relationships, improved bonds of trust, greater understanding, and many mentoring opportunities between the Black Men for Change members and many predominately white nonprofit groups. The group has also become an organizational ally to the newly-formed Gay-Straight Student Alliance at Winston-Salem State, helping them break down negative stereotypes about gay students. Accepting the award on behalf of the Winston-Salem University Black Men for Change is the group’s President Justin Redd and Vice-President Maximillian Glodoe. The group was nominated for the ECHO Award by Chevara Orrin.


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