The FBI and law enforcement agencies around the country diligently work for the good of the communities they serve and for the nation as a whole. But they can’t do it alone—they also need the support of the people who live in those communities.
Friday, at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., Director James Comey publicly recognized 58 individuals and organizations from communities around the country for giving the FBI that support. The recipients of the FBI’s annual Director’s Community Leadership Award have made tremendous contributions toward crime and violence prevention, education and awareness programs, and efforts to enhance cooperation between law enforcement and all citizens.
Addressing the award winners during the ceremony, Director James Comey said, “You are the truly extraordinary among us … You see injustice in your communities and you take action—showing a true willingness to lead when others may choose to walk away.
“We present these awards publicly—first at the local FBI field office and then at this yearly national ceremony—with the hopes that others will hear the stories of the recipients and be inspired to create change in their own communities and help make their neighborhoods safer.“
Here are just a few of those inspiring stories:
- An Albuquerque civil rights advocate—whose goal is to convince people to be “change agents” in their communities—continues his four decades of work toward building coalitions to improve the lives of all Americans, regardless of race.
- A former law enforcement officer-turned-community activist in Atlanta uses the game of chess to reach disadvantaged youth by teaching them the practical skills and techniques needed to overcome life’s obstacles.
- A Delaware social services agencyfocuses on meeting the needs of the state’s growing Latino population through programs dedicated to the healthy development and education of children, youth, and their families.
- After the unsolved murder of her 14-year-old daughter, a Cleveland mother now assists other parents who have lost children to violence and creates educational opportunities for underprivileged youth.
- A non-profit organization in Las Vegas helps southern Nevada’s homeless and at-risk veterans and their families with rapid re-housing, employment assistance, training, and other services.
- A Louisville cardiologist and civic leader—a voice for the local Muslim community—coordinates meetings and public service projects between Muslim, Christian, and Jewish leaders with the aim of reducing stereotypes within the community.
- A survivor of human trafficking and advocate for human trafficking victims dedicates her efforts in Milwaukee to ensuring adequate resources for victims and educating young people and adults on the issues of sexual violence, sexual exploitation, and sex trafficking.
- A Seattle man facilitates stronger ties between members of the Seattle-area Somali community and local and federal law enforcement by hosting numerous gatherings and fostering an environment of understanding and dialogue.
“Congratulations to each of our award recipients for going above and beyond the call to service … for reaching out to those in need … and for supporting law enforcement’s efforts to better our communities—and our nation.“