Individual, group volunteers cited for aid to community

human rights awards


Human Rights Awards winners, front row from left: Lt. Shannon Wichtendahl, Mary Freeman, Linda Bright, Marcela Chavan. Back row: Tracey Swinarsky (receiving for De W. Sube), Aaron Banasiewicz and Matthew Weinstein. (Craig Mcclure | City Of Virginia Beach Photograph)

By Stacy Parker
The Virginian-Pilot
© April 4, 2014

They volunteer their time and serve on countless boards to promote respect among people of diverse backgrounds. Recipients of the 20th annual Human Rights Commission Awards accepted the honor March 20 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. More than 150 people attended the event, “Honoring, Celebrating and Preserving Human Rights for 20 Years.”

The Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission selected recipients based on their efforts to promote cultural diversity, social awareness and human rights in our community, according to a news release.

Linda Bright, Marcela Chavan, Mary Freeman and De W. Sube received Human Rights awards for their dedication in helping fellow citizens in a variety of community-minded roles.

The commission also honored the memory of the late Daniel Matthew Stone, former Department of Social Services director, by awarding the Daniel M. Stone Humanitarian Award to the Faith Works Coalition, a charitable organization of volunteers who repair homes for the elderly, disabled, poor and retired military members in need.

Lt. Shannon Wichtendahl, of the Virginia Beach Police Department, received the Meyera E. Oberndorf Human Rights Achievement in Government Award, and Aaron Banasiewicz, a senior at Princess Anne High School, received the Helen P. Shropshire Human Rights Youth Award.

The commission provides educational programming, public forums and referral assistance to city residents whose human rights may have been violated. For more information, call 385-1158.

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